Hermine has weakened Friday morning as it passed inland over Florida and Georgia, but its outskirts are still thrashing central and eastern South Carolina with heavy rain and some strong winds.
A strong line of wind is sweeping across the area connecting Edisto Beach, Walterboro, Ashepoo, Bennetts Point. The National Weather Service in Charleston says tornado warnings are possible in that area.
As of 11 a.m., Hermine was located 55 miles west-southwest of Savannah, Georgia, centered around the town of McRae, Ga. It is expected to cross the Savannah River into South Carolina in the early afternoon Friday. Hermine’s wind speed had slowed by mid-morning, with maximum sustained winds around 55 miles per hour.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for all of South Carolina’s coast, and the National Weather Service tornado warnings have been issued for Jasper County. Flood watches are in effect for most of the Midlands and Lowcountry, but flood warnings have been issued for Pee Dee counties Darlington, Florence, Marion and Williamsburg counties.
Power outages have already been reported along the coast. South Carolina Electric and Gas has reported more than 5,600 outages statewide, with more than half in Beaufort County. Palmetto Electric reported an additional 2,500 outages in Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Most government agencies and schools were closed all day in coastal counties, while school districts in the Midlands and Pee Dee did half days.
A flash flood warning is in effect for most of Orangeburg County and parts of northern Bamberg and Barnwell counties.