Midlands residents should not assume that being more than 100 miles off the S.C. coast will insulate them from Hurricane Florence.
Columbia can expect between 2 to 4 inches of rain and tropical-storm force winds if the Category 4 storm continues on its current track and makes landfall along the N.C. coast late Thursday, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.
Those winds, expected to be between 39 and 73 miles per hour, could down trees and power lines and cause damage to structures. People should not risk their health or lives by going outside during the storm, the effects of which could begin to be felt as early as Wednesday night, said meteorologist Doug Anderson of the National Weather Service.
The storm also will slow down when it makes landfall, likely lingering over the Carolinas, according to forecasts.
Though flash flooding in the Midlands will be less likely if the storm stays on its current track, river flooding will become more of a threat as the rainwater dumped on the Carolinas courses toward the S.C. coast.
Authorities also caution that the storm’s path remains very much uncertain and could make landfall along the Palmetto State’s coast.
If the storm turns west and heads more toward the S.C. coast, the impact will be far greater in the Midlands, Anderson said, emphasizing that South Carolina is almost entirely located in the storm’s cone of uncertainty, an area that represents the range of directions the storm could take.