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Hurricane Watches in Effect for Big Bend and South Georgia

10 September 2017

Swift water rescue teams that were sent to Texas last week have since returned to North Carolina and are ready to assist with Irma evacuations and rescues if necessary. The day before, forecasters had predicted the storm would slice through Florida, cut up the east coast of Florida and plunge deep into Georgia or SC.

Gov. Henry McMaster ordered residents of barrier islands in three S.C. counties to evacuate late Friday, as weather experts warned of storm surges expected to accompany Hurricane Irma's arrival.

As Irma passes northeast Cuba, all interests in our forecast circle should be monitoring and preparing for hurricane conditions in the next 48 hours.

State forecasters remained uncertain of the storm's path and cautioned that SC residents should remain vigilant. Main threats will be Tropical Storm and Hurricane force winds. Along the beaches, further erosion with rough surf, rip currents and coastal flooding.

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Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category Five storm, is expected to make landfall over the weekend in southern Florida, where evacuations have also been ordered, and move up the coast towards Georgia. While it's hard to tell exactly how much damage would occur, Horry County Emergency Management guidelines and National Weather Service storm surge hazard maps offer an idea of how each category of storm could impact the Grand Strand.

"You can not have a better more prepared more professional team and network around the state than we have", McMaster said. If the Emergency Operations Center is activated (closer to the storm approaching) DES says they will determine the actual location of shelters if they are deemed necessary. Cooper said the state is considering possible impacts to all 100 counties across the state.

Decisions regarding evacuation of students from the island will be made on Saturday once forecasts become more specific regarding the projections for the North Carolina coast. The spread of its hurricane-force winds reached as far as the central Bahamas.

Declaring a state of emergency allows state agencies to coordinate resources in preparing for the storm.

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@GeorgiaPower on Twitter - Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.

Today as the nor'easter develops expect waves of rain, some locally heavy with some areas receiving multiple inches as training develops off the Atlantic. That executive order signed Thursday afternoon required hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and other in-patient facilities in eight counties to immediately begin moving patients inland.

The likelihood of storm surge in the coastal areas of SC also is increasing, which could lead to "significant coastal flooding", according to the National Weather Service.

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Hurricane Watches in Effect for Big Bend and South Georgia