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Tropical Storm Isaias Expected to Strengthen; Hurricane Warnings Issued

Isaias is on approach to the Palmetto State and there is a good chance it will be a hurricane when it makes landfall late Monday evening.

The National Hurricane Center posted Hurricane Warnings from South Santee River northward in anticipation of hurricane force winds. Tropical Storm Warnings continued farther south and include Charleston, Beaufort, and Hilton Head. Tropical Storm Warnings were also posted inland as far as Florence and Orangeburg.

Storm Surge Warnings are in effect from Edisto Beach northward where forecasters say 3 to 5 feet of water is likely above normally dry ground in some places along the coast. Water level rises of 2 to 4 feet are forecast in the Hilton Head area outside of the storm surge warning area.

Rain bands were moving ashore Monday morning and are expected to increase in frequency Monday afternoon and night. Tropical storm force winds are forecast to begin between 2 and 4 PM near Charleston and Hilton Head, reaching Georgetown and Myrtle Beach between 4 and 8 PM. Hurricane conditions are possible in the warning area after dusk until the wee-hours of Tuesday morning in the Grand Strand.

Forecast rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches prompted the National Weather Service to issue Flash Flood Watches from Sumter and Orangeburg to the Pee Dee, Grand Strand, and Lowcountry. Flash flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas, as well as rises of streams and creeks, are possible in the watch area, the Weather Service said.

Isolated tornadoes are also possible in the Grand Strand area this evening, near where the center of Isaias is expected to come ashore.

Conditions are expected to improve shortly before dawn Tuesday morning as Isaias moves toward the Mid Atlantic and New England states.