Hurricane Warnings and Storm Surge Warnings are now out for the entire South Carolina coastline, as Matthew is expected to be a category 2 storm as it moves very close to the SC coast by early Saturday morning. Areas from Georgetown northward toward Myrtle Beach are under a Tropical Storm Warning. Flash Flood Watches are present for the entire coast and midlands of South Carolina.
One of the first areas expected to flood is near Tybee Island, on Highway 80 through Savannah. This is expected by high tide this afternoon shortly after 1pm, and could impact Georgia evacuations.
Hurricane Matthew is a powerful category 3 storm now, currently packing sustained winds near the center at 120 mph. It is moving along Florida's coast now. The hurricane is forecast to move up the eastern coast of Florida toward Jacksonville by this evening. The storm will ride along the GA and SC coastlines before pushing out to sea late Saturday.
The Charleston, Savannah and Hilton Head areas will be most vulnerable to hurricane force winds, storm surge, and flooding. The storm will move by these areas early Saturday morning, then along the rest of the SC coast through Saturday afternoon. The storm will eventually turn east and go off into the Atlantic by Saturday night.
Right now the storm is expected to be just off the coast of SC, but a change in track by 20 miles could mean stronger winds and worse storm surge.
As for local impacts, we will begin to feel strong winds on Friday as the storm approaches. Scattered showers will move across the Upstate, mountains and northeast GA through the afternoon Friday, but no flooding or torrential rain is expected. Winds will gust to 35 mph through Friday night into Saturday morning, then winds will ease up by Saturday afternoon and evening. Sunday will be sunny with a light breeze, and highs in the upper 70s.
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