Tropical Storm Irma brought heavy rain and winds to The T&D Region on Monday, but there were few early reports of damage.

Emergency officials said there were some downed trees and power lines, but no significant damage through early afternoon.

"We have a lot of power outages and trees down in the road," Calhoun County Emergency Services Director Bill Minikieiwicz said.

"We have not heard anything fall on a house. It is still raining and getting gustier. The lower part of the county is getting most of it,” he said.

Irma reached Florida as a hurricane, but continued to weaken as it headed north. Even as a tropical storm, it closed schools and knocked out power.

The T&D Region was under a high0wind warning and a flash-flood watch until 2 a.m. Tuesday. A tornado watch was also issued Monday afternoon for Orangeburg and Bamberg counties.

As the winds picked up Monday, Orangeburg resident Danny Canady was searching for a generator.

"There might be some power outages but I don't think it is going to be anything," Canady said. "The house is fine. I live on the river, so we will probably have some flooding over the bank but not into the house."

Keith and Reggie Patrick also purchased a generator because they were taking care of young children at their home.

"We are just taking a precaution," Keith Patrick said. "It has been OK, just a lot wind."

"We are kind of used to this," he said. "We are originally from Florida."

Charles Mack went to the grocery store for last-minute items.

"I want to prepare for it because I am not sure if the power will go out. I am getting ready for the storm,” Mack said.

Cameron resident Katie Weigle ran out to get bread for lunches and dinners for the next couple of days. Weigle said the drive to Orangeburg was interesting.

"There were bands of heavy rain and they were kind of knocking me around a little bit," she said. "I made it, but I am hoping to get back in time before the worst of it gets here."

The Orangeburg Municipal Airport recorded sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts as high as 45 mph shortly after noon on Monday.

Orangeburg County had received between a quarter-inch and a half-inch of rain by Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.

Orangeburg County shelters were housing 101 people, Calhoun County shelters had 14 and Bamberg County had 13.

The Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities reported about 370 customers were without power through Monday afternoon. The outages were primarily south of the city.

Through noon, there were 2,140 outages reported for Edisto Electric Cooperative customers -- 1,228 in Orangeburg County and about 912 in Bamberg County.

About 620 Tri-County Electric Cooperative customers were without power, with 149 in Orangeburg County and 471 in Calhoun County.

Aiken Electric Cooperative reported 383 without power in Orangeburg County and 45 in Calhoun County through early afternoon.

South Carolina Electric and Gas reported about 1,297 customers without power in Bamberg County, 886 in Orangeburg County and three in Calhoun County through the afternoon.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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