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Hermine updates: Road closings, flash flood warnings in the Midlands

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The latest updates on Tropical Storm Hermine’s progress through and out of South Carolina.

Streets in central and eastern South Carolina began puddling up and ditches filled with water as a soaking rain continues Friday.

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11:00 P.M.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation noted in its 10 p.m. report that in the Midlands, rain and winds were tapering off as Hermine continues its move north.

Fallen trees and flooded roads continue to be a problem in the area. Seven roads remain closed due to the effects of Hermine.

The National Weather Service canceled the high winds warning for the Midlands shortly after 10 p.m. but the flood warning remained in effect until 5:30 A.M. Saturday for Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Calhoun, Sumter, Orangeburg, Lee, Bamberg and Clarendon counties.

7:06 P.M.

The city of Columbia warned customers in the following areas: Lake Katherine (Gills Creek), Interstate 20 at Brickyard Road, and Forest Ridge Subdivision along Broad River Road. Sewer overflowed Friday afternoon at 4645 Pine Grove Court, 1548 Kathwood Drive, 22 Thistle Court, 5081 Brickyard Road, and 1400 Peeples Street, thec city reported.

5:55 P.M.

A flash flood warning for the Midlands has been extended until 8:45 p.m. Friday.

The warning includes Calhoun, Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland and Sumter counties.

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5:55 P.M.

S.C. Emergency Management reports that S.C. Highway Patrol has responded to 473 flood-related calls between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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5:50 P.M.

The worst of the storm may be over, according to the National Weather Service in Columbia.

The eye of Tropical Storm Hermine currently sits approximately 30 miles west-northwest of Charleston, moving north at 20 miles per hour.

Meteorologists estimate wind gusts will continue to reach 40 to 45 mph until approximately 9 p.m. High winds and rainfall will begin to taper off by 2 a.m. Saturday.

The maximum wind speed recorded Friday was 53 mph, registered at Shaw Air Force Base between 2 and 4 p.m.

Rainfall reached as much as 6 to 8 inches in the southern Midlands.

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5:20 P.M.

First responders were called to a large tree that has fallen across Trenholm Road near Wyndham Road. (Photo by Tracy Glantz/The State)

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5:06 P.M.

The city of Columbia is reporting a sewer overflow at the intersection of West Buchanan Drive and North Beltline Boulevard. The overflow is running into a tributary of Pen Branch.

“Extended wet weather conditions” led to an overflow in the gravity sewer system, the city says.

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4:55 P.M.

More than 2,000 people are without power in the Hopkins area.

South Carolina Electric & Gas report that 2,375 people are without power around Mount Elon Church Road, for reasons related to Tropical Storm Hermine.

SCE&G are evaluating the outage. There is no indication when power may be restored.

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3:56 P.M.

A South Carolina official says Hermine has spawned scattered reports of flooded roads, trees down and power outages but no major damage.

Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker likened it more to a bad summer storm than a hurricane. The storm hit Florida as a hurricane, but winds fell to tropical storm strength as it moved across the Southeast.

Gov. Nikki Haley did not declare a state of emergency.

The worst damage appears to be on the southern tip of the state in Beaufort County where there were flooded roads, numerous reports of trees down and where a wind gust of 52 mph was recorded.

In the Charleston area, only a handful of roads were closed because of flooding, not uncommon during summer thunderstorms.

Wind gusts up to 30 mph were reported in the Richland County area, and some areas received 4 inches of rain — mainly south and east of Columbia.

AP report

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3:35 P.M.

4,182 customers of Palmetto Electric are out of power in Beaufort County. Another 179 customers are without power in Jasper County due to storm-related damage to a transmission line. Around 10,000 customers of S.C. Electric and Gas are also without power in Beaufort County as of 2:30 p.m., according to the Island Packet.

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3:25 P.M.

Lexington County has closed four roadways due to an accumulation of water on the road.

The county has announced closures on:

▪ Sweet Pea Lane, from Mack Street to Gus Sturkie Road in Gaston

▪ Kleckley Road, from Klapman Road to Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia

▪ 1100 block of Jones Wire Road in Swansea

▪ Railroad Avenue, from Freedom Road to Burton Road in Lexington

An estimated 3.5 inches of rainfall since Thursday evening, county spokesman Harrison Cahill said, and have seen two trees fall on homes and two fall on vehicles, as well as a power line knocked down by a tree.

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3:15 P.M.

The National Weather Service in Columbia has issued a flash flood warning. The affected counties are Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Clarendon, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland and Sumter counties. The flash flood warning is in effect until 6 p.m.

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3:02 P.M.

A flash flood warning is in effect in Horry and Georgetown counties until 4:15 p.m.

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2:21 P.M.

South Carolina’s Department of Transportation reports that no roads in the Midlands are closed after Tropical Storm Hermine drenched the state in heavy rains on Friday.

The DOT website reports road conditions are clear despite high winds and a steady rainfall. 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in Columbia.

Downtown saw heavy traffic after several offices and schools closed early Friday because of the storm. The agency urges drivers to use caution when they encounter water on roadways.

“Significant levels of standing water on roadways can occur,” said Leland Colvin, the agency’s deputy secretary for engineering. “The public is warned not to attempt to drive through it. Standing water can be life-threatening.”

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12:15 P.M.

The main University of South Carolina campus in Columbia has closed for the day.

The campus closed down at noon due to the “potential high winds, heavy rain and flash flooding” from Tropical Storm Hermine.

All classes and activities after noon Friday. USC cited the fact that Richland County has also closed all government offices as of noon.

Saturday schedules are still normal, but students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check www.sc.edu/weather for updates.

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11:03 A.M.

Hermine has left thousands of electric customers in the Carolinas in the dark even before the center of the storm moves in.

Outage maps posted by utilities serving in North and South Carolina show that power is out to more than 13,000 customers. Most of those outages are in Beaufort County in southern South Carolina — the first area of the state to feel the full effects of the storm.

Forecasters say the center of the storm should move into South Carolina early Friday afternoon and continue northeast on a path generally along Interstate 95.

AP report

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9:40 A.M.

The mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, which saw historic flooding less than a year ago, is urging residents there to “batten down the hatches, hunker down and stay put” as Hermine moves through South Carolina.

Mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters Friday that the city is blessed that it’s not dealing with a major hurricane but officials are taking Hermine seriously.

He says as Hermine approaches, the city is expecting serious winds and rainfall that can lead to flash flooding. He said the city distributed 3,000 sandbags Thursday.

It’s been almost a year since rainfall from what has been described as a 1,000-year-storm inundated South Carolina and caused widespread flooding in Charleston that prompted officials to block people from entering the downtown area.

As of midmorning on Friday, a city map of street closings showed only one street had been blocked by flooding from Hermine.

AP report

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9:09 A.M.

Rainfall is steady across the Midlands, but no hazardous road conditions or large-scale power outages have been reported.

Tornado watches are in effect in several counties until 4 p.m. Friday. The affected counties include Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Marion, Orangeburg and Williamsburg, according to the National Weather Service office in Columbia.

S.C. Emergency Management Division encourages residents to monitor weather conditions and check for road closures and flooding reports on the S.C. Department of Transportation website.

“Any roads were there are barricades, avoid them,” said Derrec Becker with S.C. Emergency Management. “Do not move them. Do not drive around them. They are there for a reason.”

Hermine was moving across southern Georgia early Friday after making landfall in Florida overnight. The storm is expected to cross the Carolina coast Friday afternoon on its out to the Atlantic.

Check back for updates.

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