Tropical storm-like weather from Irma will whip across the Grand Strand through Monday night and into Tuesday morning with isolated thunderstorms and an elevated risk of a tornado, according to National Weather Service forecasters.
Steady winds are predicted to blow at 25 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 47 mph Monday night, and will diminish some on Tuesday, the NWS said.
Coastal flood warnings are in effect for Horry and Georgetown counties until 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Strong winds on the south end of the Grand Strand early Monday afternoon blew a section of the Garden City Inn roof off the building.
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Flooding also filled low-lying streets for hours in Garden City, Pawleys Island and Georgetown during the midday high tide Monday. The same areas could flood again with the overnight tide.
The risk of tornadoes is greatest across portions of northeast S.C. and eastern Georgia, and will diminish some during Tuesday morning, the weather service said.
Some of Monday night’s storms are expected to produce heavy rains, with one to two inches possible along the Grand Strand.
The Waccamaw River is expected to reach 10.7 feet on Wednesday, just short of minor flooding stage at 11 feet.
Coastal flooding was reported at high tide early Monday afternoon at Cherry Grove, while flash flooding forced the closure of the Pawleys Island causeway.
A coastal flood advisory remains in effect until 3 a.m. Tuesday for Horry and Brunswick County beaches.
The next high tide is expected just after midnight Monday, pushing up waves as high as five to eight feet. High rip current risks will remain in effect until Tuesday night.
The rain is expected to continue Tuesday through early afternoon while winds will ease some to about 17 mph with 28 mph gusts. Less than an inch of rain is expected on Tuesday.
The rough weather is expected to clear by Wednesday, when sunny skies, calm winds, and temperatures in the low 80s are the forecast.
The S.C. Emergency Management Division is warning all residents to limit travel and to exercise extreme caution around downed trees and power lines.
Residents are warned not to walk through flood waters, as three to six inches of moving water can knock a person off their feet, emergency management officials said in a statement.
Drivers should not drive around or move barricades blocking streets.