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Hurricane Idalia expected to bring tropical storm conditions and significant flooding

Idalia is expected to make landfall across the Big Bend Coast of Florida as a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday morning then track into Georgia and South Carolina as a tropical storm.

Impacts are expected to be felt Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. The greatest inland impacts will be excessive rainfall. On the average, 4 to 8 inches of rain is predicted with some areas picking up over 10”. This will cause significant flooding across a widespread portion of the state. Isolated tornadoes are also possible embedded within the storm’s numerous rain bands. Travelling will be dangerous and highly discouraged during this time.

The National Hurricane Center issued a Storm Surge Watch for most of South Carolina’s coastal counties and some inland areas. Watches have been issued for the following counties: Beaufort, Coastal Colleton, Charleston and Coastal Jasper. Those watches will be upgraded into warnings soon, and may get expanded.

Several of South Carolina’s coastal communities remain under a Tropical Storm Watch until further notice.

Other potential hazards could include gusty winds over 60 MPH, dangerous rip currents and high surf.

Those in low-lying coastal areas are encouraged to monitor high-tide cycles during expected King Tides. Officials have warned residents against driving in floodwaters as they can result in traumatic injuries and vehicle damage. Most tropical cyclone-related fatalities are due to flooding and storm surge inundations.

Plan for the possibility of highly impactful flooding and finalize evacuation plans today. Also, please make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings and go to SCEMD to get ready to sign up for CodeRED Alerts.