Hurricane Earl brings big waves to Grand Strand

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Hurricane Earl is expected to usher in quite a treat for surfers along the Grand Strand, as forecasters predict the storm will generate 8-12 foot waves along area beaches.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory Thursday for Georgetown, Horry and Brunswick counties. The high surf watch will be in effect from noon to midnight.

Forecasters predict waves generated by the Category 3 hurricane will approach and enter the surf zone along area beaches on Thursday. Hurricane Earl is expected to produce breakers upwards of 12 feet.

In addition to the heavy surf, the National Weather Service said the risk of rip currents will greatly increase as the storm travels along the East Coast.

"Heed the advice of lifeguards and the beach patrol," forecasters wrote in a Wednesday afternoon advisory. "Pay attention to flags and posted signs."

Emergency officials have also advised swimmers to become familiar with different steps to take should they be caught in a rip current. Officials said swimmers should swim parallel to the shore until the rip current has eased.

"Rip currents can become life threatening to anyone who enters the surf," NWS forecasters warned. "It is highly recommended that if traveling to the beach, you stay out of the water entirely."

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