Hurricane warning issued for SC coast

From staff reports

A hurricane warning has been issued for the entire South Carolina coastline. 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued the warning late Thursday morning. 

After devastating Lee County on the west coast of Florida, Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it tracks northeast. As it moves over the Atlantic, it is expected to gain strength again. Forecasters believe Ian will make landfall somewhere near Charleston as a Category 1 hurricane. 

Officials are urging residents to finalize their storm preparations today and continue to check the frequently changing NHC forecasts in addition to local weather outlets.

“If you haven’t yet made plans for every contingency, this afternoon is the time to do so,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We can expect to experience a lot of rain throughout the state along with dangerous storm surge in low-lying coastal areas. With the potential for hurricane force winds along our coast, it’s important for South Carolinians to plan now.”

According to the NHC, Ian is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph. A turn toward the north is expected late today, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest with an increase in forward speed Friday night. On the forecast track, Ian will approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday. The center will move farther inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday.

Residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding, particularly along the coast, should have a plan to move to higher ground if their homes become unsafe.

“While we will not see the full force of Hurricane Ian the way Florida did, we could see high winds, rain, flash flooding and even tornadoes,” S.C. Emergency Management Director Kim Stenson said. “Flooding due to storm surge and rain could be a major concern. Over the next day, it will be vital for everyone to be prepared to act if told to do so by your local public safety officials.”

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