Tropical Storm Michael was upgraded to a hurricane on Monday. South Carolina officials are worried the storm could be the latest tropical system to impact the state.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Proud told South Carolina Radio Network that Michael’s current trajectory would have it pass directly over the center of South Carolina on Thursday.
“Looks like it’s going to come up through the Augusta, Georgia area, through the Columbia area and then out into North Carolina,” Proud said. “It’s going to increase forward speed as it goes.”
The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center believe South Carolina could experience periods of heavy rain, gusty winds, tornadoes and storm surge, with the greatest impacts beginning Wednesday.
Proud did say that, since South Carolina is not taking a direct hit on the coast, the storm surge should not be as bad as in other storms.
“This hurricane is not going to have the time to have all that water pushed up ahead of it,” he said. “So, the storm surge will be lower.”
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division in a release Monday urged residents to monitor the storm and prepare for potential impacts. The storm is predicted to make landfall along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday.
The warnings come even as displaced residents start to return back to homes flooded by Hurricane Florence’s aftermath. Florence’s record rainfall contributed to the damage even three weeks after it came ashore in North Carolina.