Effects of Hurricane Matthew being felt well ahead of storm's arrival

VIDEO: 5 p.m. Update on Hurricane Matthew
Tree down and blocking roadway on Betsy Kerrison at Jenkins Freeman Road. (Source: St. John's Fire Dept.)
Tree down and blocking roadway on Betsy Kerrison at Jenkins Freeman Road. (Source: St. John's Fire Dept.)
Water rising at Charleston's historic Battery. (Source: Live 5)
Water rising at Charleston's historic Battery. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Hurricane Matthew has not arrived at the South Carolina coast, but its presence is already being felt at locations across the Lowcountry.

The Tri-County area remains under a tornado watch ahead of Matthew's arrival.

Emergency officials are continuing to track the storm which has weakened to a Category 2 storm as of 5 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Gov. Nikki Haley is planning a news conference Friday night to update preparations for Matthew's arrival.

Charleston sets curfew, warns of flooding, bridge dangers

Charleston city leaders set a curfew from midnight Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday for motorists and pedestrians to keep people indoors.

They also denied reports of looting in the city.

Officials have said areas that are typically flood-prone are likely to flood because of Matthew, but also warn that bridges could become unsafe as winds increase. They say when winds reach 40 mph, the bridges should be considered unsafe.

Shelters beginning to fill up

North Charleston High School's shelter is at capacity. Officials with the EOC said Edmund Burns Elementary, Charleston County's only pet-friendly shelter, is also full. They said approximately 40 non-pet owners from Burns would be moved to Fort Dorchester's shelter.

There were about 150 people at the Burns location along with 31 dogs and 10 cats.

Power expected to be cut at Kiawah Island

Berkeley Electric is shutting down power on Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, saying it is the safest thing to do. Berkeley Electric officials say leaving the power on could create more setbacks during the hurricane's aftermath.

The county park is closed and the entire island is shut down. Anyone driving in will not be able to make it past the main gate.

There are no Fire or EMS services on the island and residents will not be allowed back until the mayor authorizes that it is safe.

Conditions deteriorating at Folly Beach

Conditions continue to deteriorate on Folly Beach, where officials are expecting a huge storm surge from Hurricane Matthew.

Giant waves crashing on the shore and under the Folly Pier have been tempting for would-be surfers, but first responders have stopped people from making what could be a dangerous or potentially deadly attempt at riding a wave.

Meteorologists said earlier to expect a storm surge of between seven and 11 feet at the height of the hurricane.

A checkpoint is in place to guarantee that only residents or workers at businesses on Folly Beach can get in.

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