MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - We aren't finished with Hurricane Sandy yet.
After briefly weakening to a tropical storm, Sandy was upgraded again to a hurricane in the 8 a.m. update. But no matter what this storm is called, it will have an impact on the Carolinas. And a significant impact on the Northeast.
At 2 p.m. the National Weather Service located the storm moving northeast at 11 miles per hour with sustained winds at 75 miles per hour. Tropical force winds from the very large storm can be felt from the northern Bahamas to the coast of North Carolina.
The main threat our Storm Team is tracking is the possibility of coastal flooding in low lying areas of the South Strand and Cherry Grove on the North Strand.
Saturday night at high tide (6:41pm) and shortly after, we could see one to two feet of water above ground level along the immediate coast line.
This is slightly more than what we experienced Saturday morning. In addition to the coastal flooding, all of our Grand Strand beaches will have some beach erosion and a high threat for very dangerous rip currents all weekend long.
Expect off and on showers throughout the day Saturday with heavy rain possible in the afternoon. Rain will taper off overnight and end by daybreak Sunday. We will get one to two inches at the coast, and those amounts will decrease quickly as you inland.
Florence and points west of Interstate 95 could very well stay rain-free.
Winds will be another threat to the Grand Strand. The slow movement of Sandy could make for a prolonged wind event.
Winds will increase this afternoon to 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts as high 40 miles per hour. You will notice a big difference between the wind speeds on the beach versus just a couple of miles inland. Winds across inland Horry county will peak this afternoon in the 20 to 25 mile per hour range. High profile vehicles should be very careful on bridges and overpasses.
If you live close to the coast, you should take down all outdoor Halloween decorations, anchor any lawn furniture or any outdoor items that could become airborne.
If you live within a few blocks of the beach/marsh in Garden City to Pawleys Island, you may want to move your vehicle to higher ground tonight before high tide.
If winds become high enough swing bridges will close to boat traffic.
Conditions will gradually improve Sunday as Sandy moves up the East Coast
Changes are still possible so stay tuned. Get the latest on Sandy's path with theWMBF Hurricane Tracker on WMBFNews.com.
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