Hurricane Dorian has hit the Carolinas with 110 mph winds, flooding, and tornadoes, according to recent reports.
On Wednesday night, the storm was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, then downgraded to a Category 2 on Thursday morning. The National Weather Service said the eye is currently 60 miles south of Myrtle Beach, the Daily Mail reported.
South Carolina’s Charleston harbor was blasted by high winds on Thursday afternoon, just as the eye of the storm moved northeast of the city.
“Downtown Charleston, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southeast, was beginning to flood, as heavy rains and storm surge brought standing water into the streets,” the Sun-Sentinel reported, adding, “The storm’s top winds fell to 110 mph, putting it at the upper limit of Category 2 strength, as the storm raked coastal areas with hurricane-force gusts and sustained winds.”
Police said hundreds of thousands of South Carolina homes and businesses are without power, and roads have been closed due to severe flooding, according to NBC News.
The office of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC), tweeted Thursday that evacuation orders had been “lifted for Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton Counties at 3 p.m.,” adding that “evacuation orders remain in effect” for several areas, including Charleston:
Evacuation Orders Lifted for Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton Counties at 3:00 PM Today |
Evacuation Orders Remain in Effect for all Zones in Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry Counties https://t.co/zAH9IevO2A
— SC Governor Press (@scgovernorpress) September 5, 2019
Reports said, “The worst impacts in South Carolina will be felt through Thursday night,” and, “Peak impacts will arrive in North Carolina and southeastern Virginia Thursday into Friday,” according to The Weather Channel.
“Tornado watches are in effect for parts of northern South Carolina and eastern North Carolina through late afternoon and early evening,” the website said. “There have been over a dozen reports of tornadoes in the Carolinas Thursday, some of which have been damaging.”
On Thursday morning, the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City, North Carolina, tweeted photos of damage caused by tornadoes in Emerald Isle.
Getting some pictures into the office of the damage in Emerald Isle, NC caused by a tornado around 9 AM this morning. We thinking of those that have suffered damage. PLEASE have multiple ways to receive warnings the next 24 hours! pic.twitter.com/UbU68ww4V4
— NWS Newport/Morehead (@NWSMoreheadCity) September 5, 2019
On Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) urged residents to find shelter and stay there.
“Hurricane Dorian is ready to unleash its fury on our state. The storm has regained strength. It is serious, and it can be deadly. The message this morning is this: Get to safety and stay there. Don’t let your guard down. This won’t be a brush-by,” he concluded.