By DEUCE NIVEN
Columbus County Schools and Whiteville City Schools will be on a two-hour delay for students, faculty and staff Tuesday because of the forecast impact of potential tropical storm ten, marching up the U.S. east coast and bringing heavy rain with the potential of significant flooding near the coast, a lesser risk inland.
Public school officials in Horry County were continuing to monitor the storm late Monday afternoon, and had not announced any changes to school schedules for Tuesday.
Moving very slowly off the coast of Charleston Monday, National Weather Service forecasters said the storm could intensify by Tuesday, becoming Tropical Storm Irma, bringing its heaviest impacts to coastal counties in both Carolinas, possibly moving further inland in the area of North Carolina’s Outer Banks before continuing to the north and east later Tuesday.
Inland rainfall accumulations from 2 to 3 inches were forecast inland, up to 6 inches along the cost, of the storm tracks as expected Tuesday.
A flood warning was issued for the Waccamaw River at Conway, with minor flooding likely beginning about mid-day Tuesday, cresting just below 12 feet Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Heaver rain could bring the Waccamaw to moderate flood levels in Conway.
Winds gusts from the storm were forecast to reach 65 miles per hour along the coast, less inland, with peak sustained winds of 35 to 40 miles per hour.
No flooding was forecast along the Lumber River, Black River, Cape Fear River, and other area waterways in the area covered by the Wilmington office of the National Weather Service, the agency said. That, too could change if the storm tracks further to the west than current forecasts indicate.
A marginal risk for tornadoes comes with the storm, especially for tonight in coastal areas.
In Horry County, ocean swimming was banned Monday because of the danger of rip currents, and county government increased its level of readiness from OPCON 5, normal, to OPCON 4, which means officials are monitoring events and making plans in case events warrant further action.
Check back here soon for updates as events warrant. See a report on the storm and its impact in Wednesday’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.