Hurricane Dorian restrengthened to a Category 3 storm Wednesday evening, as it continued to move north and toward the East Coast.
Dorian already brought strong winds and heavy rain to Florida after leaving at least 20 people dead in the Bahamas and the northern parts of that nation in ruins. And though Florida seems to have dodged the brunt of the storm, parts of Georgia, and North and South Carolina still are bracing for impact. According to the National Hurricane Center, Dorian still has the potential to make landfall between Thursday or Friday.
Following, we've provided an update on southeastern cities and states as they brace for what's left of the storm.
The Carolinas and Dorian
The NHC reports both North and South Carolina could see surges as high as 8 feet, with as much as 12 inches of rain (15 in isolated areas).
As of Thursday morning, the hurricane center said the storm's core was located 105 miles south of Charleston, S.C., and 225 miles southwest of Wilmington, N.C. Officials added that Dorian was moving north at 7 mph.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division
has issued mandatory evacuations for much of the coastal community.
South Carolinians and area travelers can use the "Know Your Zone
" tool on the SCEMD website to find out whether they are located within an evacuation zone. Shelter locations are available on SCEMD's website
and in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app.
Late last week, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory coastal evacuation that went into effect Monday. The Weather Channel reported Thursday morning that some 360,000 individuals had already fled the area, but that the mandatory evacuation affects more than 800,000 people.
According to the Associated Press, North Myrtle Beach officials said several tornadoes from the hurricane are suspected to have touched down in the area earlier Thursday morning. Additionally, Dominion Energy said more than 34,000 people along the South Carolina coast are now without electricity. The majority of those individuals reside in Charleston County, according to CNN. In Charleston, outer bands of the storm were already causing street flooding as early as Wednesday afternoon.
American Red Cross officials say more than 1,500 people have sought refuge from Hurricane Dorian in a total of 28 shelters in the central and eastern portions of South Carolina.
Many area hotels and resorts have been evacuated. "The situation is still evolving as the eye of the storm passes, but so far the hotel and resort seem to be faring well," said Bryan Hunter, public relations director of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The resort closed around noon Tuesday as per evacuation orders. Hunter and his family have evacuated to Asheville, N.C., to ride out the storm. "The resort is spread over 10,000 acres with lots of woodland and water, so it may be a couple of days before we can make a full damage assessment."
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety
has issued either mandatory or voluntary evacuations for the following counties:
Beaufort, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Onslo, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Sampson, Tyrrell and Washington.
North Carolina is currently under a State of Emergency. An Associated Press report suggests impacts and power outages will likely spread up North Carolina and the East Coast as Dorian moves north. When all is said and done, Duke Energy projects Dorian will knock out electrical service to about 700,000 customers throughout the Carolinas.
**A list of emergency information and contacts for the state of South Carolina can be accessed here.
**A list of emergency information and contacts for the state of North Carolina can be accessed here.
Georgia and the Storm
A mandatory evacuation order was lifted Thursday morning for individuals in following Georgia counties: Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh. This information courtesy of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homland Security Agency
A State of Emergency remains in effect for the following 21 counties; Appling, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Clinch, Charlton, Chatham, Echols, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Ware and Wayne.
In Georgia, more than 9,900 customers had been left without power Thursday morning along the coast, with the bulk of the outages in the Savannah area, according to Georgia Power.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a mandatory evacuation order for all residents and visitors east of Interstate 95 (encompassing a total of six counties), beginning noon on Monday. As the storm has now passed, the evacuation order was lifted Thursday morning. Still, a total of 21 Georgia counties remain under a State of Emergency.
On Thursday morning, the storm's effects could be seen in the Savannah River’s water level, according to a report by Channel 2 Action News. The river was running about 3.5 feet above its typical level at low tide near Tybee Island. "All those hurricane-force winds are well offshore," said meteorologist Brad Nitz. "Along our beaches and coastal counties, that's where the tropical storm-force winds are. We're talking in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 mph with some gusts at 50."
Dorian continues to crawl north about 75 miles east of Savannah, the National Hurricane Center said. Since it’s moving so slowly, tropical storm-force winds were expected near Savannah through at least noon on Thursday.
**A list of emergency information and contacts for the state of Georgia can be accessed here.