Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Hurricane Matthew's track is lashing South Carolina with heavy winds and rains, and will do so over the next several hours.
Matthew currently is a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 75 miles an hour.
A hurricane warning includes the entire South Carolina coast and into southern North Carolina, ending at Surf City, NC.
In addition to the warnings along the coast, a flash flood watch is in effect for the following Midlands counties: Richland, Lexington, Orangeburg, Calhoun, Sumter, Clarendon, Lee, Kershaw and Fairfield. The watch will last until Sunday morning.
Matthew is going to move just off the South Carolina coast for most of Saturday morning.
The storm is moving a little faster than expected, and now the center of circulation will most likely be parallel with Charleston by 8 AM. By the early afternoon, most of the major rain bands could be gone.
The storm will then make a loop that could take it into the Bahamas by the middle of next week.
IMPACTS ON SOUTH CAROLINA:
There still remains the likelihood of dangerous and life-threatening storm surge. Already, the coast has seen several inches of rain. At the battery in Charleston, the waters there were already a foot above flood stage.
Tropical storm force winds will be felt there through much of the morning.
Further inland, the effects will taper off, but it's not unlikely that the southern and eastern Midlands could see 3-8 inches of rain. The central Midlands could see between 1-5 inches, with the northern Midlands likely not seeing much rainfall at all. That could lead to isolated areas of flooding, particularly in communities closer to the I-95 area.
Overall, the Midlands will also see occasional gusty winds the entire day, perhaps as high as 50 miles an hour in some spots. There will also be a chance of some power outages.
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