Hurricane Irma's predicted path trending farther west, but Lowcountry still at risk
Forecast models from the National Hurricane Center issued late Thursday put Hurricane Irma's eventual path farther west than previously thought, which could mean lessened impacts for South Carolina.
Parts of the Lowcountry, including Charleston, Summerville and Moncks Corner have been shaved out of the storm's impact cone. Colleton and Beaufort counties remain in the cone.
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However, the central area of the storm passing farther to the west doesn't necessarily mean the Palmetto State wouldn't still see heavy rains and damaging wind if the forecast holds, ABC News 4 Chief Meteorologist Dave Williams says.
"This is 'better' for us, but we are still going to get impacts," Williams said about the latest forecast. "The biggest threat would be the feeder bands rotating in off the Atlantic Ocean, providing torrential downpours causing localized flooding. Tornadoes would also be likely."
Williams says the forecast path will continue to change and evolve over the next few days, but If the current projection holds steady, the main impacts for South Carolina will be felt Monday and Tuesday.
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Irma has weakened slightly, but is still a Category 5 hurricane moving through the Turks and Caicos toward the Bahamas with 165 mph winds. It remains on a west-northwest course at 16 mph.