Surfers prepare for big waves as Hurricane Earl nears

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The number of surfers hitting the beach is increasing as Hurricane Earl inches closer to the U.S. coast.

Dozens of surfers were out on Folly Beach Tuesday to try and catch some early big waves. Hurricane Earl is still located southwest of the Bahamas, but surfers are warming up to ride the intense surf expected as the storm nears the Lowcountry.

"We came out here to see what earl has to offer-what kinda waves," said Ryan Carnavale. "It is pretty packed for a Tuesday afternoon. Normally you'd have about 10 poeple in the area and you have 20-25."

Mike Emlaw with the National Weather Service says with storms like Earl, a Category 4 Hurricane, you can expect large waves with long intervals in between.

"Its gonna be dangerous to be in the water at the beach no doubt about that with the high risk of rip currents and these kind of big powerful waves," Emlaw said.

Earl is travelling 15 miles per hour which puts the storm directly east of Lowcountry beaches by Wednesday evening. The good news surfing wise is that the waves could be 5-8 feet.

Earl is not expected to hit the South Carolina at this time, but it is projected to clip North Carolina's Outer Banks. Even with no direct impact in SC, surfers can expect to ride some big waves.

"You always want to watch out for rip currents but the nice thing is on a surf board you paddle out parallel to the beach get out of it and paddle back in," Carnavale said. "Its important for somebody to know you're here at least to make sure you come back"

For a full surf report along with advisories, click here.

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