Officials in Charleston County held an update on Hurricane Irma at 11 a.m. and moments later, the first signs of what forecasters and officials had warned could come was visbile.
Some restaurants and businesses on Folly Beach and in downtown Charleston were boarded up Friday and Saturday. But other than that, it was business as usual in coastal communities earlier in the morning. Not much was closed, because there was no evacuation order for Charleston County in place. Children were playing on Folly Beach. Shoppers walked by boarded windows and into boutiques downtown.
Things began to change by morning's end. The first signs of erosion were visible on Folly Beach, with the tide came flooding on downtown streets and wind began to whip tree branches around in Mount Pleasant. Hurricane Irma was still hundreds of miles from the Palmetto State -- its eye near Cuba and outer bands striking Florida.
Emergency Operations Center consultant Cathy Hanyes said the county would remain at OPCON 2 and would re-evaluate the status as needed Sunday. Haynes and other community leaders continued to urge those in the Charleston area not to let their guard down.
Forecasters say the area could see wind gusts from Hurricane Irma of 40-60 mph and several feet of storm surge.
At around the same time county leaders spoke, a Hurricane Watch was issued for Beaufort County and Coastal Colleton County. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for Berkeley County, Charleston County and Dorchester County.