South Carolina is bracing for hurricane Idalia to roar through the state. Hurricane and tornado warnings were issued Wednesday morning for areas in and around Charleston.
The warnings may come as a surprise for many in the state as the storm's path slightly shifted.
Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 storm around 7:45 a.m. ET in Florida's Big Bend region. It's since weakened to a Category 2 storm, but it's still expected to reach South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane.
Despite losing strength, Idalia will still be very dangerous. Category 1 hurricanes pack winds of up to 95 mph. That's strong enough to damage homes and uproot trees and knock down power lines.
[700 AM] ALERT: Portions of GA and SC have been upgraded to a Hurricane Warning. A Storm Surge warning is also now in effect from Saint Catherine's Sound to South Santee River. pic.twitter.com/Z1bjONsivJ
— NWS Charleston, SC (@NWSCharlestonSC) August 30, 2023
In addition to the wind, the area is expecting a storm surge up to 5 feet along the coast.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed a state of emergency on Tuesday despite not knowing the storm would shift.
"Although South Carolina may avoid the worst of Hurricane Idalia's impacts, this State of Emergency is issued out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we have the necessary resources in place to respond to flooding events and are able to respond quickly if the forecast worsens," said McMaster.
Prior to reaching South Carolina, Idalia will roll through southern Georgia. Early Wednesday, the area was already reporting strong winds and flash flooding. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also declared a state of emergency in the state to make sure emergency resources were made available.
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