Hurricane Irma's South Carolina effects becoming clearer, heavy rains & high winds likely
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
As forecast confidence grows for Hurricane Irma’s ultimate path, the potential impacts for South Carolina are becoming clearer.
The National Weather Service in Charleston predicts between Sunday and Tuesday, heavy rains up to 10 inches will fall in Jasper, Beaufort, and Colleton Counties. From 4 to 8 inches of rain are forecast in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties.
Tropical storm force sustained winds of 35-45 mph are forecast throughout the Lowcountry, with gusts nearing 60 mph possible.
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South Carolina will be impacted by the storm’s strong northeast quadrant of Hurricane Irma, which means there also will be a threat for tornadoes from late Sunday night through Monday afternoon.
Rain chances in South Carolina will steadily increase from the south throughout Saturday and Sunday, with the heaviest rains beginning to come into the state Sunday night into Monday morning.
Heavy rain will continue Monday and reach its peak by the afternoon. Flash flooding and eventually river flooding will be likely. Trees in saturated soil are likely to be blown over, with power outages likely as well.
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Gov. Henry McMaster on Friday ordered evacuations of barrier islands in Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper Counties.
Hurricane Irma strengthened again Friday to a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds, after falling to a Category 4 earlier in the day.
The eye of the storm was expected to make landfall in Cuba Friday night, before making its long-predicted turn northward Saturday.
Forecast models show the storm tracking north along Florida’s Gulf coast into Georgia, and gradually continuing to move north-northwest.