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Live Friday updates: Thunderstorms, possible tornadoes impact Grand Strand

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Ever heard of the term 'supercell' but didn't know what it was? Learn about these powerful storms responsible for most tornadoes in the United States and other thunderstorms in this video from NWS.
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Ever heard of the term 'supercell' but didn't know what it was? Learn about these powerful storms responsible for most tornadoes in the United States and other thunderstorms in this video from NWS.

This story will be updated as severe weather hits the Grand Strand Friday.

6:45 p.m. Friday update:

The National Weather Service canceled a tornado watch and wind advisory that were in place for Horry and Georgetown counties.

“Environmental winds have lessened,” the NWS reported.

4:30 p.m. Friday update:

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for northern areas and inland of Horry County that is in effect through 5 p.m.

The NWS reports severe thunderstorms were located near Boardman to near Nixonville, moving northeast at 80 mph.

Winds up to 60 mph are forecast, with damage to trees and power lines expected.

Local areas to be impacted include Myrtle Beach, Conway, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Little River, Socastee, Red Hill, Garden City, Cherry Grove and Loris.

A tornado watch for northeastern South Carolina is in effect until midnight. “For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building,” the NWS advises.

3:40 p.m. Friday update:

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for coastal and inland areas of Horry and Georgetown counties that is in effect through 4:30 p.m.

The NWS reports severe thunderstorms were located from Gresham to near Santee Coastal Reserve at 3:41 p.m., moving

northeast at 75 mph.

Winds up to 70 mph are forecast, with “considerable” tree damage expected. The NWS advises that damage to mobile homes, roofs and outbuildings is likely.

Local areas to be impacted include Myrtle Beach, Conway, Georgetown, Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Socastee, Garden City, Andrews and Loris.

A tornado watch for northeastern South Carolina is in effect until midnight.

3 p.m. Friday update:

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Horry and Georgetown counties through 3:45 p.m. The NWS reports that at 2:54 p.m. severe thunderstorms were spotted 7 miles northwest of Bishopville to Earle, moving northeast at 60 mph.

Winds up to 70 mph are forecast, with “considerable” tree damage expected. The NWS advises that damage to mobile homes, roofs and outbuildings is likely.

Andrews was among the areas forecast to have severe thunderstorms nearby, starting at 3 p.m.

The severe storms are forecast to be near Conway around 3:35 p.m. Aynor is another location that will be affected, the NWS reports.

A tornado watch for northeastern South Carolina is in effect until midnight.

1:30 p.m. Friday update:

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Horry County until 2 p.m. Areas impacted include North Myrtle Beach, Wampee and Cherry Grove Beach, the NWS reports.

Georgetown County is under a tornado watch until midnight.

Weather is expected to pick back up within the next few hours, bringing winds of more than 40 mph, the NWS reports.

The Horry County Fair, which was expected to open Friday, has postponed its grand opening to noon Saturday due to the weather, according to its Facebook post.

Here is where you can get live updates about power outages in Horry County.

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Daniel Parker of Fredonia, New York takes a jog along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach Friday morning despite heavy wind and rain throughout the area. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Noon update:

Showers and thunderstorms have briefly calmed but are expected to start again this afternoon in the Myrtle Beach and Horry County areas, according to the National Weather Service.

With humidity levels around 96%, the temperature is 66 degrees in the Myrtle Beach and Conway areas and about 68 degrees in the North Myrtle Beach area, the NWS reports.

Rainfall amounts could reach between a quarter and half-inch are possible, the NWS reports.

Thunderstorms and possible tornadoes impact the Grand Strand area Friday as severe weather moves through the region.

Stay off the roads and beach and take down your flags, wind gusts could be dangerous.

The National Weather Service advises people of longshore currents that can sweep swimmers and surfers into rip currents, piers, jetties and other hazardous areas.

“Often, if the longshore current is strong enough, it will sweep swimmers off their feet, making it difficult to return to shore,” a beach hazards statement from the NWS states.

9:45 a.m. Friday update:

Thunderstorms and severe weather are hitting the Horry County area Friday, bring damaging winds of more than 40 mph and possible tornadoes.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington said the area will experience widespread severe storms that are long-lived and intense.

The Conway and Myrtle Beach areas will see an enhanced risk of severe weather at 5 p.m. and a higher risk between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to the NWS.

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Pedestrians battle wind and rain as they cross over Ocean Boulevard to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Friday morning. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Minor coastal flooding is possible along beaches with each high tide Friday, the NWS reports.

Horry and Georgetown counties are under a wind advisory until 11 p.m. Friday.

Thursday evening update:

A severe storm system is headed to the Grand Strand, and wind gusts of 60 mph, isolated tornadoes, hail, lightning, minor coastal flooding and power outages are all possible according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.

The most intense weather is expected to hit the coastal regions of Horry, Georgetown and Brunswick (N.C.) counties between 5-9 p.m., though the risk for dangerous weather begins late Friday morning.

Minor flooding is possible along area beaches with each high tide Friday, and the most intense storms could also cause some structural damage. Between 2 and 3 inches of rain are forecast and up to 4 inches are possible with stronger thunderstorms.

The risk for severe storms will decrease overnight Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday for Horry, Georgetown and Brunswick (N.C.) counties, as sustained South winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected with much heavier gusts.

Strong winds may blow down limbs, old and weakened trees and unsecured objects such as trash cans and lawn

furniture while making driving difficult, according to the weather service. Power lines could also be affected resulting in isolated to scattered power outages.

The National Weather Service is also warning about longshore and rip currents that will be dangerous for swimmers along the coastline and persist into the weekend.

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The storm system has already caused widespread damage and a few deaths in the South and Southwest.

On Thursday, strong storms roared across the South, killing two Mississippi drivers and a woman in Alabama whose mobile home was struck by a fallen tree, while leaving more than 100,000 people without power across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

National Weather Service forecasters said they believe multiple tornadoes hit southwest and central Mississippi, although they won’t be sure until damage is surveyed.

The same system produced tornadoes and hail earlier in North Texas, the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas.

VIDEO: If your area is under a tornado warning, then you may only have a few minutes to get to safety. Here are the actions you should take during a tornado.

Seven tornadoes were reported across the Plains from the northeastern Texas Panhandle to southeastern Kansas. Strong winds hit elsewhere Wednesday evening, toppling utility poles and trees and downing power lines in parts of North Texas. Heavy rainfall caused flash flooding and the shutdown of Interstate 30 in central Arkansas.

The National Weather Service received numerous reports of hail pelting the storm-struck areas, including egg-size hail northwest of Fort Worth.

The storm system has come just days after more than 40 tornadoes from East Texas to Georgia left at least nine dead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.
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