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Tropical Storm Ophelia will continue impacting South Carolina through Saturday

Tropical Storm Ophelia keeps churning this evening about 150 miles off the South Carolina coast. Tropical Storm Warnings are still posted for the offshore areas of Charleston, Georgetown, and Horry Counties through tomorrow. Impacts expected from the cyclone are also causing other marine alerts across the coastline.

The storm will continue producing a large area of tropical-storm-force winds and is not forecasted to intensify much further before reaching North Carolina coast early Saturday. As of this evening, Ophelia is very close to hurricane status with sustained winds of 70 MPH.

The strongest winds through tonight are expected in the warning area and eastern Pee Dee where sustained winds of 20-30 MPH and gusts over 40 MPH are possible. The rest of the state will experience winds gusts in the 20-35 MPH range into early Saturday.

Storm surge inundations up to 2 feet are possible from Collins Creek to North Myrtle Beach. Dangerous surf and rip currents are also likely. Waves nearshore will be in the 5-10 foot range but increase to possibly 10-15 feet farther out to sea. Swells generated by this system will affect much of the U.S. east coast through the weekend.

The heaviest rainfall will remain offshore closer to the center of circulation. Rainbands from the storm are likely this evening and tonight across the state but significant flooding is not expected.

Impacts from this system will start decreasing Saturday morning, but please plan around this unsettled weather until then.