All of the South Carolina coast remains under a hurricane warning as Hurricane Matthew continues trace the eastern part of the state, according to weather officials.
Officials continued to warn about storm surge. In Charleston, rainfalls ranged between 5 and 10 inches, and a wind speed of 52 mph was recorded at the Charleston airport shortly after midnight. A high of 88 mph was recorded at Hilton Head airport.
A tidal gauge on Charleston Harbor reached a high of more than nine feet above the mean measurement.
“That’s the third-highest ever recorded,” said meteorologist Bob Bright at the National Weather Service office in Charleston. “(Hurricane) Hugo was three feet higher than what we had today.”
The National Hurricane Center’s latest map released at 5 a.m. shows the category 2 hurricane off the southern tip of the South Carolina coast. The center also stated the SC coast is in danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours.
Hurricane Matthew’s western eye wall, containing hurricane-force winds, will spread upwards during the day.
West of Interstate 95 could see gusts of wind from 35 to 45 mph, with gusts of 60 mph possible. The National Hurricane Center reported winds of 85 mph in Hilton Head Island and 83 mph in Beaufort around 6 a.m.
The eye will likely hit the coast of SC Saturday morning or early in the afternoon.
The NHC reported whether the hurricane makes landfall or not, the northern eyewall will “lash” much of the coast as the center moves east of Charleston Harbor by the afternoon.
Storm surge could be life-threatening, and flooding is expected inland in South Carolina.
About 3.5 feet or storm surge inundation was reported in Charleston, and surges of six to nine feet are possible today in Edisto Beach, the NHC reported.
Outages around the South Carolina coast were reported, and the National Hurricane Center said additional power outages are expected.