Gov. Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency in our state as the latest forecast predictions have increased the possibility of Hurricane Irma having an impact on South Carolina.
The powerful Category 5 storm is closing in on the Virgin Islands. A recent update from the National Hurricane Center locates Irma about 140 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico and is still packing maximum sustained winds of 185 miles an hour and higher gusts. It continues to move to the west-northwest at 16 miles an hour.
On the forecast track, the hurricane will move over portions of the Virgin Islands very soon, pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight and pass near or just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic tomorrow.
Direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and rainfall are possible in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula beginning later this week and this weekend.