As Hurricane Idalia makes its way toward the Gulf Coast, folks in the South are bracing for its potential impact, including those in South Carolina. On Tuesday (August 29), Idalia strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 80 mph as it makes its way toward the western coast of Florida, where it is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday.
While Florida is anticipated to feel the brunt of the storm's impact, Idalia could still cause issues in South Carolina. In fact, tropical storm warnings are in effect for most of the Lowcountry through Wednesday and Thursday morning as areas inland can experience 35-45 mph wind gusts, while areas along the coast could see gusts over 50 mph, per Live 5 News. High winds could cause debris to fly through the air or even knock down trees, bringing with it the potential for power outages.
Additionally, the biggest threat for South Carolina is possible flooding. A flood watch is in effect for most of the Midlands on Wednesday while a storm surge watch has been issued along parts of the coast, per WLTX. Heavy rainfall from the storm, which is expected to weaken after making landfall and moving up the coast, is expected to impact areas as far inland as the Midlands, with the eastern Midlands and lower CSRA forecasted to receive 4-6 inches of rain. Tornadoes are also possible.