Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A hurricane warning was extended along the South Carolina coast and a tropical storm warning was issued for another region, all in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew.
Here is the latest information on the storm.
Matthew currently is a Category 4 hurricane, with winds of 140 miles an hour. Category 4 is the second highest level of hurricane, and has the potential to cause "catastrophic" damage. The storm was moving to the northwest at 14 miles an hour.
A hurricane warning is in effect along the South Carolina coast from the Georgia/South Carolina border all the way to South Santee River just north of Charleston. A warning means hurricane conditions are possible in that region within the next 36 hours. A tropical storm warning is in effect from the South Santee River all the way to Surf City, NC. That warning includes the cities of Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, NC.
In addition to the warnings along the coast, a flash flood watch will go into effect Friday morning for the following Midlands counties: Richland, Lexington, Orangeburg, Calhoun, Sumter, Clarendon, Lee, Kershaw and Fairfield. The watch will last until Sunday morning.
Matthew is expected to reach the eastern shores of Florida by early Friday morning. It will push along the coast there all day Friday, causing potentially extensive damage there. Dire warnings with words such as "historic" and "life-threatening" have been issued to residents there, as public officials begged people to leave the coastal areas.
After Florida, Matthew will move off the coast of South Carolina by early Saturday morning.
The storm is then expected to hug the South Carolina coastline for the entire day Saturday, finally leaving the state by late that evening or early Sunday morning.
IMPACTS ON SOUTH CAROLINA:
The storm is expected to have a significant impact on the coastal regions of the state. That area will see tropical storm or hurricane force winds for an extended period of time.
Right now, computer models are showing the coast could get 8-14 inches of rain, with some isolated higher amounts. The storm surge could be between 4 to 8 feet, which would lead to flooding miles inland, particularly near rivers. The areas that could see those conditions include Charleston and Myrtle Beach.
In the Midlands, rainfall totals will vary, but the central, southern, and eastern Midlands could see several inches of rain. A flash flood warning has been issued for most Midlands counties, as mentioned above.
In general, News19 Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy says I-95 will be the barrier: anything south of that line will get the greatest effects, while north of the line will get less.
As always, it's important to note that these projections will likely shift as we get closer to Saturday. For that reason, all residents along the coast of South Carolina and inland for about 150 to 200 miles should continue to monitor this storm's progress closely.
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