Strong rip currents, large waves rolling in on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Hurricane Irene's outer bands are starting to impact the Charleston coastline Friday morning. Rip currents on Folly Beach are strong and powerful as large waves are rolling on shore.

There will be a lot of surfers trying to catch some big waves. Breaking waves in surf zones are expected to reach between 7 to 10 feet. It is recommended if you are going to be in the water to be with someone and just be smart.

The rip currents could pull you out to sea in a matter of minutes. Swimmers are urged to stay out of the water. If you are in the water this weekend and caught in a rip current, it's recommended to swim parallel to the beach, until you are not being pulled out to sea anymore.

Not only will the tides produce dangerous rip currents, but also beach erosion will be a concern. Folly Beach has seen significant erosion problems this summer, emergency management teams are closely monitoring the tides hoping Irene's churn won't wash away any more of the shrinking coastline.

Flooding could also be a major concern, if heavy rains fall around the time of high tides the risk of flash flooding will increase especially in downtown Charleston. High tide is expected around 6:30 Friday night and around 6:50 Saturday morning.

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