The Carolinas still face life-threatening storm surge along the coast.
The decision came hours after revised forecasts showed the potential for a greater impact on SC from the hurricane, so the game's cancellation will free up hotel rooms in the Columbia area for evacuees while allowing emergency personnel to be utilized in areas impacted by the storm.
Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. For those in any region that is forecasted to get around or above 4 to 6 inches of rain, take special note.
One of the main threats across the southeast is flooding.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, while a tropical storm watch had gone into effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Maarten.More news: 1.5m Evacuated As Hurricane Florence Threatens Carolinas
SC athletics director Ray Tanner said that consideration for those in the Palmetto State who will likely be hit hard by Florence led to canceling the game.
"As we have been predicting, this hurricane is unpredictable", McMaster said at a news briefing updating the state's response to Florence on Wednesday.
But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".
"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.
Businesses across the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia will likely suffer financial losses from the approaching storm, with ports closing, farmers moving their livestock and expected power outages that could last for weeks.
Predictions are for Florence to be far more violent storm.More news: Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head
A National Weather Service satellite monitoring Hurricane Florence has recorded a wave reaching 83 feet in the storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.
Forecasters said Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
In North Carolina's Wrightsville Beach, Inside Edition's Steven Fabian was told to leave his hotel, which is shutting down due to the storm.
"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.
"Whether or not the game could have been played, we made the decision we think is best for the state and those who are evacuating the coast", said Gamecock Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "Also, a little creepy".More news: Apple's cheaper iPhone XR rocks bright colours
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