The Latest: Tracking Hurricane Florence
Flash Flood Watches are in effect until 8 pm Sunday for all Midland Counties except for Saluda.
As of 5:30 am, Hurricane Florence is making landfall near Surf City and Wilmington North Carolina as a category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 90 mph.
The storm is expected to very slowly move west and southwest today, with a wind speeds and gusts gradually increasing throughout the day. Expect winds 15-25 mph, with gusts possibly topping 40 mph by late Friday night. The strongest winds are expected to arrive as the center of the storm approaches the midlands Saturday, from the late morning into Saturday evening. Sustained winds over 40 mph are possible, with some gusts over 55 mph.
Winds should still be moderate on Sunday from 15-25 mph, but should weaken Sunday evening.
Secure any loose patio furniture and potted plants that could be moved or picked up by the strong winds.
Rain from Florence looks like it will mostly stay east of the area until Friday afternoon when a few scattered showers and storms begin to develop. Outer bands from Florence will send periodic rainfall into the midlands Friday night into early Saturday afternoon. The heaviest and most widespread rain looks to now arrive Saturday afternoon through early Sunday afternoon.
Rain totals will increase from the SW to the NE. Areas on the SW fringe, like Aiken, are expected to receive between 1-2 inches storm total, but our NE counties like Sumpter, Kershaw, Lee, and Clarendon can expect as much or more than 10 inches.
If you live in a low lying area or near a creek, stream, or river - have a plan to quickly move to higher ground if Flash Flood Warnings are issues.
The storm begins to clear out of the Midlands late Sunday. Tropical depression conditions should subside by Monday morning with winds under 10 mph and a chance for scattered showers and storms in the afternoon.