weather

Tropical Storm Irma began making a mess in The T&D Region on Monday morning.

CHRISTOPHER HUFF, T&D

The rain and wind picked up Monday morning as a downgraded Tropical Storm Irma began to be felt in the region.

There were no reports of damage through 9:45 a.m. Monday, according to area emergency officials.

"There is nothing at this time," Calhoun County Emergency Services Director Bill Minikiewicz said. "Right now we are getting the heavy rain bands."

Fourteen people are at Calhoun County shelters and 13 are in Bamberg County shelters.

The highest sustained winds at the Orangeburg Municipal Airport were clocked at 21 mph through 9 a.m. Monday with the highest gusts at 31 mph.

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.

The Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities reported about 230 customers without power through Monday morning. The outages were west of the city in areas such as Bolentown and S.C. 4.

Through 9:30 a.m., there were 12 outages reported for Edisto Electric Cooperative customers -- eight in Orangeburg County and four in Bamberg County.

About 40 Tri-County Electric Cooperative customers were without power, with 31 in Orangeburg County and nine in Calhoun County.

Aiken Electric Cooperative reported one power outage in Orangeburg County.

South Carolina Electric and Gas reported no outages through 10 a.m. Monday.

The forecast is for the winds and rainfall to continue to pick up throughout the day. The peak will be between 2 p.m and 5 p.m. this afternoon, when gusts could reach 54 mph.

Sustained winds and gusts are expected to begin to decrease by Monday nightfall and continue to wind down after midnight Tuesday.

Rainfall totals are forecast to be between 3 inches and 5 inches in the area with isolated amounts of 7 inches. Higher amounts will occur in areas further south and west in the region.

The T&D Region remains under a high-wind warning and a flash flood watch until 2 a.m. Tuesday. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Individuals are asked to stay off the roads and to stay inside for the duration of the storm.

The high-wind warning means sustained winds will be about 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph possible. Numerous downed trees, power lines and damage to structures are possible.

Isolated and brief tornadoes are possible this afternoon into this evening.

Individuals who chose not to stay in a shelter and are concerned about their particular structure are encouraged to go into the first floor, interior room away from windows.

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

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

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