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 p.m.today, 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 â€˜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.