Charleston is starting to feel some effects from Hurricane Irene. Hurricane Irene churning in the Atlantic, causing the coast of South Carolina to feel some side effects. The storm is predicted to be about 175 miles from the coast of Charleston today, but winds are already reportedly around 40 mph right off the water–near the downtown areas and Folly Beach.
On Folly, there were reports of downed power lines. About 2,500 Charleston County customers were without power.
In Charleston and Berkeley counties, schools and Charleston government offices were closed Friday due to the chance of heavy rain and high winds. Schools now in Dorchester are now closing early. Although Irene will not directly hit the state, South Carolina’s coast from Edisto Beach to the Little River Inlet (near the North Carolina border) is under a Tropical Storm Warning. That means strong winds, with possible rip tides and flooding.
Georgetown and Horry counties are also expected to feel 40-50 mph winds through Saturday morning. Horry County remains on Operating Condition Level 4 (OPCON 4). That means county officials are on “alert” status. Beaches along the Grand Strand were closed Thursday after six swimmers were rescued from rip currents.
National Weather Service: Hurricane Irene
SC Emergency Management Division’s main site: www.scemd.org