(WLTX) - A hurricane warning is now in effect for part of South Carolina's coast, as Matthew continues to gain strength as it aims for an eventual run in with the southeastern U.S.
CURRENT STORM CONDITIONS:
Matthew is now a dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles an hour. It 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 the Edisto Beach, SC with is south of Charleson. A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Edisto Beach to the South Santee River just north of Charleston. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible in that region within the next 48 hours; a warning means those conditions are expected within 36 hours.
The thinking on the ultimate path for the storm has changed little in the last day. Right now, Matthew is moving through the Bahamas, and 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. It will then 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 are 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 inlands, 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. At present, flooding is not expected in the central Midlands, but there are regions of the area, particularly those closest to the Pee Dee and the Lowcountry, that might be at risk for flash flooding.
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 more over the next two days. 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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