Hurricane Matthew as of 5 p.m. Wednesday

As Hurricane Matthew inches closer to South Carolina, The T&D Region can expect to see gusty winds and periods of heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 70 percent chance of showers Friday. Showers and winds are expected to increase to 80 percent Friday night, tailing off to 50 percent Saturday with windy conditions continuing.

There were no advisories, watches or warnings issued for The T&D Region through late Wednesday morning.

Total rainfall totals in the Orangeburg area are forecast to be between 2 inches to 3 inches for the duration of the storm.

The eastern part of the county near the Holly Hill area could see rainfall totals of 3 inches to 4 inches, according to the NWS.

The St. Matthews area is forecast to see rainfall closer to 2 inches while the Bamberg area is forecast to see rainfall at about 2.5 inches, the NWS reports.

Winds in the three counties could be around 35 miles per hour with potential gusts of 40 mph.

Calhoun County Emergency Services Director Bill Minikiewicz said the county is discussing the possibility of opening up a shelter, but has not made a decision of where or when the shelter will open.

"We are set to go and we are putting up extra manpower," he said, noting that the recent track of the storm is better news for the county.

"We will get some rain and wind gusts, but we are in the 40 mph (wind) zone,” Minikiewicz said.

NWS meteorological technician Doug Anderson said the storm's slight shift to the east has been due to a strengthening high pressure system off the coast and a trough digging into the southeast. Anderson noted however that the forecast can change.

"It could change quite a bit, even if it has shifted further east," he said. "Between Columbia and Orangeburg is still within the cone of uncertainty. Any significant shift of 50 miles to 75 miles west or east of the current track could have an impact. Things are still in flux."

With any tropical system, there is always a threat for isolated tornadoes, Anderson said. The threat is lower the further east the storm shifts.

Late Wednesday morning, Hurricane Matthew was south of the Bahamas traveling northwest at 12 mph. The Category 3 storm had sustained winds of 120 mph and was forecast to be off the South Carolina coast Saturday morning.

The midday Wednesday forecast had the storm coming close to the South Carolina coastline before heading out to sea. There are some forecast models that call for the hurricane to loop around and head back toward the Florida coast by next week.

Cooler and drier, more fall-like weather is forecast for the area upon the departure of Matthew.


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