The eye of hurricane Irma is expected to pass just north of Puerto Rico Wednesday night and continue on its west-northwest track for the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. update.
As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Irma was still a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.
The current forecast for Irma’s track has the powerful storm passing into South Carolina early next week.
Tropical storm force winds of between 36 and 73 miles per hour could begin in South Carolina as early as Sunday night, the Columbia office of the National Weather Service said. More likely, however, strong winds would begin Monday or Monday night.
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If Irma stays on its current course, hurricane force winds are possible early next week, especially in counties closer to the coast, the Columbia office forecast. Along with strong winds, locally heavy rainfall could be expected to bring 3 to 6 inches, and 10 inches in some isolated areas. River flooding is possible throughout the week.