The entire coast of South Carolina on Friday remained under a hurricane warning as night fell Friday.
A warning means hurricane force winds (greater than 74 mph) are expected in the area within the next 36 hours. The warning is in effort for parts of Florida northward to Surf City, N.C.
The latest forecast track takes Hurricane Matthew right along the SC coast all day Saturday, and a landfall somewhere in the Palmetto State is possible. The eye of the storm is projected to be near Hilton Head on Saturday morning and off the coast of Georgetown County by mid-afternoon, meaning the entire coast of South Carolina would experience hurricane force winds.
Forecasters still believe the storm will turn out to sea on Sunday and Monday.
“Hurricane Matthew’s path has shifted closer/higher along SC coast. Coastal residents should evacuate NOW,” the SC Emergency Management Division tweeted on Friday. “Life threatening storm surge (over 8 feet) expected on SC coast. Coastal residents should move inland.”
The eye of Hurricane Matthew at 5 p.m. Friday was about 40 miles east of Jacksonville, Fla., and 135 miles south of Savannah, Ga. The northernmost rain bands from the storm were already affecting areas from the Midlands to the coast.
The storm continues to weaken slightly and has sustained winds of 110 mph, with higher gusts. Matthew is moving north at 12 mph.
Some of South Carolina’s coastal counties will receive more than 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Matthew, according to forecasts.
Charleston, Georgetown and Myrtle Beach are expected to received 13 inches or more of precipitation through Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The Columbia area could see up to 6 inches of rain, with areas of the Pee Dee region forecast for 10 to 12 inches.
Isolated tornadoes are possible along the South Carolina, Georgia and northeast Florida coasts, according to the National Weather Service.