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After coming ashore as one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record, Matthew is making its way across the Carolinas Thursday. National Weather Service forecasters predict the Grand Strand will see tropical storm-force winds and some rain Thursday, bringing the risk of tornadoes and power outages.
Based on the Weather Service forecast for Horry County and the Pee Dee region, the highest winds will be closest to the beach. The further inland, the more rain. Much of the Midlands and upstate region could see 2 to 4 inches of rain Thursday.
Winds along the Grand Strand began to pick up overnight and the National Weather Service in Wilmington recorded 35 mph wind speed by 4 a.m. Thursday.
The most recent forecast along the beach calls for winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 45 mph, along with an inch of rain over the course of the day. As of 5 a.m. Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Michael was 210 miles west of Myrtle Beach, according to the Weather Service.
The entire region is under a tornado watch. The Weather Service is also warning of a 1 to 3-foot storm surge.
With the ground still saturated from Hurricane Florence last month, the Weather Service warns that the winds could knock down trees and cause power outages.
Inland Horry County will also see about an inch of rain, according to the latest Weather Service forecast, and 20 to 30-mph winds Thursday.
The Waccamaw River is still at moderate flood stage, but Thursday’s rains are not expected to cause additional problems along the river, the Weather Service notes.
Charles Duncan: 843-626-0301, @duncanreporting