7News Live on the Coast: Florence hits South Carolina

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WSPA) - Just as Hurricane Florence was being downgraded to a Tropical Storm status, meteorologists were warning folks along the South Carolina coast not to let their guards down. The downgrade would do little to change the impacts being forecasted for the Grand Strand and surrounding areas.

All of this, of course, before Florence makes its march through the Midlands on Saturday and onto the Upstate on Sunday.

As Gov. Henry McMaster stated it during his daily press briefing, "Hugo was a rocket. Florence will be with us for awhile."

Friday brought the Horry County Police Department and North Myrtle Beach Fire Department informing the public that "conditions have become too dangerous for public safety crews to respond. Responses will be slow or limited." 

Our 7News crew covering the storm from Myrtle Beach reports the first flooding to occur in the city happened around 3 p.m. Friday on Ocean Blvd. at 21st Ave North, directly in front of the Breakers hotel.

As of 5 p.m. Friday the number of power outages in Horry County had grown to more than 60,000 customers. Some trees have been blown into roads and rooftops are beginning to be ripped off homes and businesses beachfront. 

Rainfall totals are expected to climb to 15 to 25 inches in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. Major to catastrophic flooding could be seen in parts of the Pee Dee. 

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