COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the northeast edge of what was Hurricane Irma passed through the Midlands, high winds caused widespread power outages, downed trees, and structure damage Monday.
Winds reached tropical storm force in the Monday afternoon and evening. A wind gust as high as 54 miles per hour was clocked at the Orangeburg Municipal Airport Monday. The highest wind gust recorded at Columbia Metropolitan Airport was 51 miles per hour.
Already, an apartment building has been damaged by a fallen tree in Columbia and a tree has fallen on a home in Shandon.
In other areas, trees and power lines are down, power is out and traffic lights are not working. SCE&G reported Tuesday morning nearly 64,000 power outages, mostly in the Lowcountry.
You are reminded to stay away from storm-damaged areas, including damaged or downed trees and power lines to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms. Downed power lines may still be live.
Use caution if you're out on the roads Tuesday morning. If you approach an intersection where the traffic lights are not working, treat it as a four-way stop.
Several tornado watches were issued as a result of the storm.
A POTENTIAL TIMELINE OF EVENTS
- 11 p.m. Monday to 11 a.m. Tuesday -- Rain and windy conditions will continue early, but the storm will clear out late Tuesday afternoon.
The situation in the Lowcountry is worse as thousands are without power, storm surge is hitting the coast and flooding is an issue. The battery in Charleston is being inundated with storm surge. Barrier islands remain evacuated.
In the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina, coastal flooding is taking place. Pawleys Island is seeing significant road flooding before high tide and causeways are closed. Flooded roads and wind damage are also prevalent in the Myrtle Beach area.
So, flooding is possible in urban areas and along our creeks, rivers, and streams. We don't expect Irma to linger over the area for several days.
It's best to have your WIS First Alert Weather App on hand along with your NOAA Weather Radio for updates on severe weather.