Irma brings thousands of South Carolina power outages
Winds and surge have increased along the South Carolina coast
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Tropical Storm Irma has left about 34,000 customers without power in South Carolina.
Winds and surge have increased along the South Carolina coast.
The National Weather Service says winds gusted to 72 mph at Folly Beach Pier about 10 miles south of downtown Charleston.
The tidal gauge near downtown Charleston says water levels are running 2 feet above normal. The next high tide is just after noon Monday. Forecasters have warned the water could run up to 6 feet above normal.
Firefighters on one of South Carolina's largest barrier islands are now staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.
Hilton Head Island said on Twitter that it suspended emergency operations at 9 a.m. Monday until the winds and storm surge subside. They say they will only go on calls if a supervisor allows them because conditions are too dangerous.
The island of 42,000 people is under an evacuation order. Forecasters warn wind gusts around 60 mph and storm surge of up to 6 feet are possible later Monday.
Similar storm surge and winds gusts are possible up to coast to Charleston too.
A hurricane watch has been dropped for South Carolina as Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center continues a tropical storm warning Monday from near Georgetown into Florida. A storm surge warning is also in effect.
A storm surge of up to 6 feet is possible along the coast. Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in South Carolina. There are the possibilities of tornadoes.
The weather service in Charleston reports wind gusts as high as 51 mph at buoys near Edisto Beach and Fripp Island.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. reported about 12,000 customers without service Monday. The biggest problems were in Beaufort and Charleston counties.
Other utilities in the state report more than 2,000 customers without service Monday.
Winds and rain from Hurricane Irma have moved into South Carolina and officials warn residents to be very careful throughout the day.
A hurricane watch is in effect Monday from Edisto Beach into Florida. A storm surge warning and a tropical storm warning are in effect from near Georgetown into Florida.
A flash flood warning is in effect along the southern coast of South Carolina, where more than 40,000 were ordered to evacuate barrier islands.
The storm surge could reach 6 feet, especially from late morning to mid-afternoon. Up to 6 inches of rain is also possible.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph are expected along the South Carolina coast. Forecasters say tornadoes are also possible.
South Carolina Electric & Gas reported more than 13,000 customers without service Monday.