CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Georgetown County and areas north to Duck, North Carolina are under a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning with the 5 PM Tuesday update. A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected in the next 36 hours. A storm surge warning means life threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline is expected in the next 36 hours. A hurricane watch and storm surge watch remain in effect for the coast of Charleston, tidal Berkeley and coastal Colleton counties.
Florence is about 1260 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina. The storm continues to move west-northwest at 17 mph. A continued path the west-northwest is expected through early Thursday. Florence is expected to slow down late Thursday into Friday as it approaches the coast of the Carolinas.
Florence has strengthened some to winds of 140 mph. The storm is expected to further strengthen Tuesday night and Wednesday to just shy of a category 5 storm. Some weakening is expected Thursday, however, it will still be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it makes landfall early Friday morning. Hurricane force winds extend out up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend out up to 175 miles. The storm continues to grown in size as it tracks closer to the Southeast Coast.
Storm surge is expected up and down the coast of the Carolinas with a forecast of 2-4 feet from Edisto Beach to the South Santee River. The storm surge forecast for Georgetown County to North Myrtle Beach is 4 to 6 feet. Keep in mind, salt water inundation impacts any body of water that rises and falls with the tides including creeks swamps and rivers.