Remnants of Hurricane Michael make for wet, blustery day for Pee Dee
FLORENCE, S.C. -- A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect as the remnants of Hurricane Michael blow through the Pee Dee Thursday.
“Tropical storm force winds are most likely to arrive after sunrise this morning in northeast South Carolina and by late this morning for southeast North Carolina,” Reid Hawkins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., wrote in the morning briefing on the storm.
Maximum sustained winds throughout the day Thursday are forecast to be in the mid-to-upper 20mph range throughout most of the Pee Dee with gusts in the mid-to-upper 30mph range, with Hartsville under threat of 40mph gusts, according to the briefing.
Along the coast wind gusts could reach into the mid-50mph range.
Trees weakened by Hurricane Florence could topple from these winds, causing additional power outages.
“Unfortunately I think that will be plenty to knock over some trees,” said Jordan Baker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.
Wednesday’s rains, which will further loosen the soil, won’t help that situation, Baker said.
An additional 1/2-3 inches of rain could fall across the Pee Dee today with locally higher amounts expect. Because of that, a flash flood watch remains in effect for both the Pee Dee and Grand Strand. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for Georgetown and Horry Counties in South Carolina and New Hanover and Pender Counties in North Carolina.
Florence is forecast to receive an additional 1.55 inches of rain from the story with areas west of Interstate 95 projected to receive more rain and areas east of the interstate less rain.
“The axis of heaviest rain will occur to the west of the storm’s center across the central Carolinas,” Hawkins wrote in the briefing.
The rain will cause Black Creek at Quinby to crest Saturday in minor flood stage at 15.9 feet, though close to moderate flood stage. The Great Pee Dee River will crest at minor flood stage at Pee Dee but at moderate flood stage at Cheraw.
The Lynches River at Effingham is forecast to climb toward flood stages by Monday as the rains from Michael that fell around Charlotte, N.C., drain toward the coast, according to the river’s hydrological Website maintained by the National Weather Service.
The Waccamaw River at Conway is expected to remain at moderate flood levels, unchanged by the storm.
The threat of tornadoes remains for northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina, though a westward move in the track of the storm has dropped the treat of them from high to moderate for the Pee Dee, according to the briefing.