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Watches issued for Lowcountry as Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida

This graphic shows the expected track of Hurricane Irma as of 11 a.m. Saturday, September 11, 2017.

As outer bands of Hurricane Irma reached out and combed the Florida coast, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued locally.

Berkley County, Charleston County, inland Colleton County, Dorchester County and Williamsburg Count were all placed under a watch with conditions possible within a 48-hour period. Coastal Colleton County and Beaufort County were placed under a Hurricane Watch. TRACK THE STORM

Tropical impacts are expected as early as late Sunday, but mainly Monday into early Tuesday. The exact track and intensity will determine the exact impacts here in the Lowcountry. Based on the latest track of the storm, we are expecting 4-8 inches of rain with isolated higher amounts. The rain will cause flash flooding and eventually river flooding.

RELATED: Flooding in Charleston as officials warn residents remain alert

Elevated high tides are expected over the next few days as well. Tropical storm force winds are also expected with the possibility of hurricane force gusts closer to Beaufort. There will be the threat of isolated tornadoes as well as feeder bands move onshore. Those feeder bands will be responsible for the heaviest of the rain.

While some storm surge is possible (1-3 feet), the main threat of that will be south of Charleston. We will continue to tweak the forecast as the path of Irma becomes more clear through the weekend.

Hurricane Irma is a category 3 storm with 125 mph winds pounding the north coast of Cuba. It is headed toward Florida next, where it is expected to make an additional landfall Sunday as a major hurricane.


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