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UPDATE: ***Michael will impact the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia through Thursday evening***

NEW INFORMATION
(October 10, 2018 – 11:51pm) 
From the National Weather Service.

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* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:

– None

* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:

– A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Abbeville, Chester, Elbert, Greenwood, Laurens, Union, Union, and York

* STORM INFORMATION:

– About 280 miles southwest of Charlotte NC or about 210 miles south-southwest of Greenville/Spartanburg SC

– 32.1N 83.8W

– Storm Intensity 75 mph

– Movement Northeast or 45 degrees at 20 mph

SITUATION OVERVIEW

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Hurricane Michael is forecast to track from southwest Georgia northeastward across Georgia becoming a Tropical Storm.  The center of the circulation will likely pass near Augusta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina Thursday morning, then on to near Raleigh, North Carolina by evening.  Windy conditions and very heavy rainfall are expected to impact part of the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia as the storm passes just south and east of the area.

The greatest threat that Michael will pose for our area continues to be flash flooding.  Based on the most likely track of the storm, the heaviest rainfall totals are expected to be over the Lakelands and lower Piedmont of the Upstate and northeast Georgia tonight, then along and north of Interstate 85 from Greenville-Spartanburg to Salisbury on Thursday.  A secondary maximum will develop along the Blue Ridge Escarpment in the Carolinas.  The Charlotte metro area may also see flash flooding even though rainfall totals will be slightly lower there.  This is due to very high rainfall rates along with excessive urban runoff.  Areas that flooded during heavy rainfall last month with Tropical Storm Florence may flood again during Michael.

Winds will pick up in speed overnight and peak during the day Thursday.  A few tropical-storm force gusts are possible.  There is also a risk of isolated tornadoes in the Piedmont overnight.  A Tornado Watch will be in effect for the Lakelands, much of the Upstate, and the southwest North Carolina Piedmont, which includes Charlotte.  Tropical cyclone tornadoes develop especially rapidly, so it is important to react quickly and seek shelter if a warning is issued for your location.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

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* FLOODING RAIN:

Protect against life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across the Piedmont and most of the mountains.

Potential impacts include:

– Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues.

– Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places.  Small streams, creeks, canals, arroyos, and ditches may become dangerous rivers.  In mountain areas, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys while increasing susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides.  Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed.

– Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away.  Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes.  Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged.  Driving conditions become dangerous.  Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out.

Protect against dangerous rainfall flooding having possible limited to significant impacts in southwestern North Carolina, that is, the area near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

* TORNADOES:

Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across the western Carolinas and NE Georgia.

Potential impacts include:

– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events.

– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions.

– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

* WIND:

Protect against hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across the lower Piedmont of both Carolinas, including the Greenwood, Clinton, Chester, and Monroe areas. Potential impacts in these areas include:

– Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.

– Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted.  Some fences and roadway signs blown over.

– A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places.  Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.

– Scattered power and communications outages.

Elsewhere across the western Carolinas and NE Georgia, impacts will be even more limited.  Trees still can fall during heavy rain, even with relatively light winds. Therefore, power outages still could occur.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

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* EVACUATIONS:

Listen to local officials for recommended preparedness actions, including possible evacuation.  If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.

For those not under evacuation orders, assess the risk from wind, falling trees, and flooding at your location.  If you decide to move, relocate to a safer location nearby.  If you do not relocate, help keep roadways open for those under evacuation orders.

Do not enter evacuated areas until officials have given the all clear to return.

* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:

Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life.  Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued.  Remember, during the storm 9 1 1 Emergency Services may not be able to immediately respond if conditions are  unsafe.  This should be a big factor in your decision making.

Rapidly rising flood waters are deadly.  If you are in a flood-prone area, consider moving to higher ground.  Never drive through a flooded roadway.  Remember, turn around don’t drown!

If a Tornado Warning is issued for your area, be ready to shelter quickly, preferably away from windows and in an interior room not prone to flooding.  If driving, scan the roadside for quick shelter options.

Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather radio or local news outlets for official storm information.  Be ready to adapt to possible changes to the forecast.  Ensure you have multiple ways to receive weather

warnings.

* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

– For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov

– For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org

– For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org

NEXT UPDATE

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The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg SC around 6 AM EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.