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Ernesto Approaches North Myrtle Beach and Little River

The National Weather Service has updated its track prediction indicating possible landfall of the eye of the storm to cross right into Little River, South Carolina, just north of North Myrtle Beach.

A hurricane watch is in effect meaning that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 6 to 12 hours. Given that the current sustained winds are at 70 miles per hour, and that to become a hurricane, the storm only needs four more miles per hour to 74 mph, it is likely our area will see a hurricane after all.

Coastal storm surge flooding of 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels are expected, but fortunately, low tide is occurring just around the time Ernesto is expected to make landfall.

Rainfall of 4 to 8 inches are possible, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches which could cause life threatening flash floods.

According to a press release from the city of North Myrtle Beach, the Barefoot swing bridge will at 6:00, or earlier if necessary. The bridge will be locked in place for vehicular traffic and closed to boat traffic until 6:00 a.m. Friday.

For residents and visitors who have never experienced a tropical storm or ‘lite' hurricane, you can expect wind howling and heavy rains. Please bring inside or tie down any patio or balcony equipment and be sure to stay inside.

  0   Article ID : 896
Horry County Schools to dismiss one hour early today

Due to changing conditions with Ernesto, Horry County Schools will dismiss one hour early today, August 31, and will begin one hour later than the normal schedule on Friday, September 1.

Unrelated to the storm, Horry County Schools will dismiss one hour early on Friday because of traffic associated with Labor Day weekend.

All staff members should leave and report at their regular time.

  0   Article ID : 895
Ernesto expected to move out of North Myrtle Beach by the weekend

Even though rain is pouring steadily in the North Myrtle Beach area now, the prediction for this weekend looks good for our last push of the summer. The National Weather Service reports only a 30% chance of rain for this weekend, which is our normal, average day chance of an afternoon thunderstorm.

The City of North Myrtle Beach issued a press release this morning stating they are monitoring the conditions of Ernesto. It is expected that the strongest effects in our area to take place between 7:00 p.m. and midnight tonight. The storm will come through our area during low tide, and beach erosion and storm surge effects are expected to be minimal.

The City encourages residents to tie down lawn chairs and loose items outside their homes. Wind gusts from this system are expected to reach 50 mph at times. Several inches of rain could be possible.

The City's Emergency Operations Center will be operational as of 1:00 p.m. this afternoon and will remain open until the storm has passed. Central City staff will be on standby, and will continue monitoring the conditions. All City offices are open and will operate on a normal schedule, today.

The J. Bryan Floyd Community Center and the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center will both close at 5:00 p.m. today, due to the approach of Tropical Storm Ernesto. All recreation activities for this evening have been cancelled. Both facilities are expected to open according to their regular schedule on Friday.

All Horry-Georgetown Campuses will be closing after 3:30 today. Horry County Schools have not issued any new information regarding closings and are still open with a normal schedule today.

The National Weather Service reports on the center of Ernesto is expected to pass near Georgetown this evening and move inland near the North Carolina state line before midnight.

Ernesto has become more organized with maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast During the next 24 hours.

  0   Article ID : 894
Ernesto Tropical Storm/Depression Update for North Myrtle Beach

With Ernesto now crossing into the Atlantic as a Tropical Depression, North Myrtle Beach businesses and residents are sighing in relief. Although heavy rains and winds are expected for our area for tomorrow, WPDE reports improving weather for our Labor Day Weekend.

Ernesto is classified currently as a tropical depression and is not expected to cause any major problems for our area. In a press conference earlier today, Governer Mark Sandford stated he will not be issuing any voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders.

Horry County schools are expected to run their normal schedule tomorrow, although officials say they will evaluate on Thursday their schedule for Friday, if necessary.

  0   Article ID : 893
North Myrtle Beach no longer under a hurricane watch

Posted 12:45pm August 30, 2006 - The National Weather Center has downgraded Ernesto to a Tropical Depression at their 11am update. The Hurricane Warning has been discontinued for our area but in its place a Tropical Storm warning has been issued.

According to the 11am report from the National Weather Center, Ernesto is moving toward the north near 10 mph. The center of Ernesto is expected to move off the Florida coast this evening and strengthen to a tropical storm before moving ashore on the central South Carolina coast on Thursday afternoon. Ernesto is then forecast to cross the Pee Dee region of South Carolina into the sand hills of central North Carolina Thursday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph...55 km/hr...with higher gusts. No change in strength is forecast while Ernesto is over land but some intensification could occur on Thursday as the system moves over the Atlantic.

Boat owners should begin making preparations now to secure their boats due to the potential for higher winds. Storm surge is forecast to exceed the tide by up to three feet. Tides are forecast to be at a minimum and coastal flooding effects are expected to be minor.

According to the Wilmington, NC Local Forecast Office tropical storm force winds are expected in Georgetown and Horry Counties Thursday afternoon and evening, spreading into North Carolina near midnight with winds gusting around 40 mph. Winds will diminish from the south Thursday night.

Heavy rainfall associated with tropical storm Ernesto will develop Thursday and gradually end from the south Thursday night. Three to six inches of rain is expected, with isolated higher amounts. River levels are currently well below flood stage but could rapidly rise if heavy rainfall develops.

Tornadoes will be possible on Thursday and Thursday night, mainly near the center, and to the north and east of where the center of Ernesto moves. Tornadoes in land falling tropical systems are generally small and difficult to see due to heavy rainfall. Keep a battery powered NOAA weather radio nearby to warn you of approaching hazards.

Surf of 2 to 4 feet Wednesday will likely build to 4 to 6 feet Thursday, and to as high as 8 ft Thursday night. Minor to moderate beach erosion is likely to occur in many areas.

The next update will be issued by the National Weather service in Wilmington around 3 pm. Please check with us at for the latest update!

  0   Article ID : 891
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