Hurricane Dorian continues to move up the southeastern US coast, and South Carolina is feeling its effects Thursday morning.
The storm had lost some of its strength after hitting the Bahamas, but it intensified again into a Category 3 storm on Wednesday night. It has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The city of Charleston was already experiencing flooding Thursday morning, Charleston County Emergency Management told CNN. Dorian is 80 miles south-southeast of the city, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 a.m. advisory.
Dorian is expected to continue moving closer to the coast of South Carolina throughout the day and then along or over the coast of North Carolina Thursday night into Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.
More than 1 million people in parts of South Carolina and North Carolina are under mandatory evacuation orders, forecasters said.
The South Carolina cities of Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant are under a flash flood warning until 10:15 a.m. ET, the National Weather Service in Charleston said Thursday morning.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring between 15-20 inches of rain along the South Carolina coast, including downtown Charleston, through Thursday afternoon, meteorologist Steve Rowley with the National Weather Service in Charleston office told CNN.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, and the hurricane center warned of “life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds, regardless of the exact track of Dorian’s center.”
Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg said that he wants the city to be a “ghost town” during the storm.
“Just stay put for another six or eight hours until this passes, and then we’re going to clean up and get back to normal quickly,” Tecklenburg told CNN’s John Berman.
More than 167,000 customers were without power in South Carolina and Georgia Thursday morning, according to poweroutage.us. The bulk of those were in South Carolina, where 154,000 customers were in the dark.
State, federal and local agencies at the State Emergency Operations Center are working together to prepare evacuation and recovery efforts in anticipation of Dorian, according to a tweet from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.