COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The Latest on the effects of Tropical Storm Irma in South Carolina (all times local):
The mayor of a South Carolina beach town under mandatory evacuation orders says seven people have been rescued from rising floodwaters.
Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby says a family of four was rescued from their car about noon Monday from a curve near the beach’s pier. She says the family had “decided all of a sudden” they needed to leave.
They are among an estimated 70 people still in the town of 530 people, despite Gov. Henry McMaster’s evacuation order Friday night.
Darby says emergency officials also rescued three media employees.
Darby says the Edisto Beach is “under water,” with power lines and trees down. The town has suspended all emergency calls because “it’s too dangerous.”
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for Charleston as heavy rains begin to move into areas already flooding by ocean surge from Tropical Storm Irma.
Forecasters say the flooding from the ocean about a mile inland to Calhoun Street is becoming life-threatening. No injuries have been reported yet.
The ocean level reached nearly 10 feet (3 meters) Monday, 4 feet (1.2 meters) above normal and the third highest reading in the past 80 years, only behind Hurricane Hugo and a 1940 hurricane.
Authorities say with the rain it could be several hours before the water recedes.
Several tornado warnings have also been issued around Charleston, but no major damage has been reported.
Ocean water pushed onshore from Tropical Storm Irma is coming over the Battery in downtown Charleston at high tide.
Dozens of streets near the water in Charleston were flooded and water levels at the gauge downtown were as at 9.4 feet (2.9 meters) at high tide around 12:30 p.m. Monday.
That is nearly at the same level as Hurricane Matthew last October.
Forecasters say the ocean may rise a little more, but they don’t expect a surge anywhere near the 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) recorded when Hurricane Hugo came ashore just north of Charleston in 1989.
Street flooding isn’t unusual in Charleston, which also sees flooding during Nor’easters and other storms.
The next high tide is early Tuesday morning, when forecasters expect water levels from Irma to be much lower.
The number of power outages caused by Tropical Storm Irma continues to climb in South Carolina.
Utilities report around 81,000 customers without power around noon on Monday. Most of them are customers of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and South Carolina Electric and Gas.
The utilities report about 21,000 power outages in Beaufort County and about 18,000 in Charleston County.
The rest of the outages are scattered across South Carolina as the winds from Irma slowly increase.
Tropical Storm Irma has left about 34,000 customers without power in South Carolina.
The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and South Carolina Electric and Gas report most of the outages Monday morning were in Beaufort and Charleston counties.
Winds and surge have increased along the South Carolina coast.
The National Weather Service says winds gusted to 72 mph (115 kph) at Folly Beach Pier about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of downtown Charleston.
The tidal gauge near downtown Charleston says water levels are running 2 feet (0.6 meters) above normal. The next high tide is just after noon Monday. Forecasters have warned the water could run up to 6 feet (1.2 meters) above normal.
Firefighters on one of South Carolina’s largest barrier islands are now staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.
Hilton Head Island said on Twitter that it suspended emergency operations at 9 a.m. Monday until the winds and storm surge subside. They say they will only go on calls if a supervisor allows them because conditions are too dangerous.
The island of 42,000 people is under an evacuation order. Forecasters warn wind gusts around 60 mph (95 kph) and storm surge of up to 6 feet (2 meters) are possible later Monday.
Similar storm surge and winds gusts are possible up to coast to Charleston too.
A hurricane watch has been dropped for South Carolina as Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center continues a tropical storm warning Monday from near Georgetown into Florida. A storm surge warning is also in effect.
A storm surge of up to 6 feet is possible along the coast. Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in South Carolina. There are the possibilities of tornadoes.
The weather service in Charleston reports wind gusts as high as 51 mph (82 kph) at buoys near Edisto Beach and Fripp Island.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. reported about 12,000 customers without service Monday. The biggest problems were in Beaufort and Charleston counties.
Other utilities in the state report more than 2,000 customers without service Monday.
Winds and rain from Hurricane Irma have moved into South Carolina and officials warn residents to be very careful throughout the day.
A hurricane watch is in effect Monday from Edisto Beach into Florida. A storm surge warning and a tropical storm warning are in effect from near Georgetown into Florida.
A flash flood warning is in effect along the southern coast of South Carolina, where more than 40,000 were ordered to evacuate barrier islands.
The storm surge could reach 6 feet, especially from late morning to mid-afternoon. Up to 6 inches of rain is also possible.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph are expected along the South Carolina coast. Forecasters say tornadoes are also possible.
South Carolina Electric & Gas reported more than 13,000 customers without service Monday.
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9/11/2017 1:49:57 PM (GMT -4:00)