Isaias threatens storm surge at S.C. beaches

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 7:00 PM EDT
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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry beaches braced Monday for dangerous storm surges and a high risk of rip currents as Tropical Storm Isaias approached South Carolina.

On the Isle of Palms, things were relatively quiet from lunchtime to about 3 p.m., when winds started picking up. But by 6 p.m., conditions had deteriorated with stronger winds blowing rain that made it sting when it hit your face.

But as conditions worsened on the Isle of Palms, things appeared to calm a bit on Folly Beach where surfers decided to brave the waters despite the high rip current risk.

For a brief time before 6 p.m., the winds and waves became too much and surfers left the water. But as soon as things began to slow down a bit, they were back in the water.

Tropical Storm Isaias stayed far enough from the Charleston coast to spare the Holy City major flooding. That will also help reduce the storm surge threat along Charleston County beaches. The National Weather Service issued a storm surge warning for much of the South Carolina coast where between two and four feet of surge was expected.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said it looked like areas from Bulls Bay and McClellanville northeast toward the North Carolina border would see the worst of that storm surge. That’s because by the time Charleston is at high tide, the winds from Isaias will be pushing the water toward the ocean, not towards land. But the circulation will have the exact opposite effect toward the Grand Strand.

Georgetown and Horry Counties are likely to feel the worst effects of the storm, which is expected to restrengthen to a Category 1 hurricane just before it makes landfall near Horry County or into North Carolina late Monday night.

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