WASHINGTON (WCBD) – President Joe Biden approved South Carolina’s emergency declaration after Tropical Storm Idalia lashed the state throughout the day Wednesday.

Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Tuesday declaring a state of emergency ahead of expected impacts from the storm. Idalia initially made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane along Florida’s Big Bend region before trekking into southern Georgia as a Category 1 storm.

It was later downgraded to a tropical storm before crossing into South Carolina during the afternoon and evening hours on Wednesday, bringing with it gusty winds, flooding and storm surge and beach erosion.

The storm spawned multiple reports of tornadoes across the Lowcountry.

Gov. McMaster said the declaration was “out of an abundance of caution,” because it would allow state agencies to move people and equipment and remove restrictions that “slow things down” during the response to the storm.

President Biden’s action authorizes federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts to “alleviate hardship and suffering” caused by the storm and to provide appropriate assistance to save lives, protect property and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of catastrophe in the designated areas.

“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the White House said in a news release Thursday morning. “Emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program will be provided in 23 counties and emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program will be provided in the remaining 23 counties.”