The Grand Strand is bracing for tropical storm conditions as Hurricane Michael slams the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as a Category 4. Here are live updates for the Myrtle Beach area Wednesday:
The eye of the hurricane is currently about 70 miles southwest of Albany, Georgia and moving northeast at 16 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
The latest forecast shows Hurricane Michael, currently with winds sustained at 125 mph, will move across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia Wednesday evening.
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Isolated tornadoes are possible in southern South Carolina tonight and that threat will increase Thursday, NWS warns.
Tropical storm force winds are likely to arrive Thursday morning in northeastern South Carolina, and a coastal flood advisory is in effect for counties including Horry and Georgetown, according to NWS.
A high rip current advisory was issued for Horry and Georgetown Counties until 2 a.m. Friday.
Minor coastal flooding is expected during high tides. During Michael’s peak flooding could reach up to 1 foot.
Hurricane Michael made landfall just northwest of Mexico Beach, Florida, about 1:45 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is moving at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds at 155 mph, the National Hurricane Center reports.
Tropical storm force winds are expected to reach South Carolina Thursday morning, with peak winds between 35 and 45 mph and gusts up to 55 mph, according to the National Hurricane Service.
Winds are expected to last through Thursday afternoon, but damage is expected to be minimum, according to officials.
The potential for 1 to 3 feet of storm surge is possible, NWS officials said, lasting through Friday morning.
A significant threat from tornados remains in effect.
Horry County remains under a tropical storm warning. The potential for tornado impacts is high, the National Weather Service in Wilmington reports.
Hurricane Michael’s eye is close to hitting the Florida Panhandle, as winds have increased to 150 mph, the National Hurricane Center reports. Wind gusts are about 72 mph.
The storm is now 510 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, an 11 a.m. update shows, and is continuing to move northeast at 14 mph.
Hurricane Michael is about 540 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, the National Weather Service reports.
Michael’s maximum winds are 140 mph and it continues to move north at 13 mph. The storm is tracked to hit Florida, veer to the right and move over Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday.
Horry County is under a tropical storm warning, the National Weather Service in Wilmington reported at 7 a.m. Wednesday. The potential for tornado impacts is high, the NWS in Wilmington reports.
The Wednesday morning temperature is about 79 degrees. Expect light rain on your morning commute and possible thunderstorms through the day.
A flash flood watch is in effect into Thursday evening and the Myrtle Beach area should expect showers, thunderstorms and wind into early Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. A coastal flood advisory is also in effect until Thursday evening, the NWS reports.
Reid Hawkins with NWS Wilmington said tropical force winds are likely to start in the area on Thursday. Hawkins said coastal flooding is possible between two and three feet above ground level.
Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas last month, and parts of Horry County are still recovering from the aftermath of flooding and damage from the storm. The ground remains saturated, and it “will not take much rainfall” to cause flooding, Hawkins said.
“Areas where the shoreline has already become weakened from Florence, as well as other coastal flood prone areas, are at the most risk,” he said in a 7 a.m. update.
Hawkins said residents should secure tarps on any roofs damaged from Hurricane Florence to be better prepared for gusty winds and heavy rain.
Sustained winds between 25 and 45 mph are possible for along the coast after Michael reaches the Carolinas by Thursday as a tropical storm.
Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong