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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Torrential rains are spreading inland across the Carolinas as Hurricane Matthew hugs the east coast.

At 5 p.m. the center of the Category 1 hurricane was about 15 miles west-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina and about 105 miles west-southwest of Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

Matthew is moving toward the east-northeast near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue tonight and early Sunday.

On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will be near the coast of southern North Carolina by this evening.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Although weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, Matthew is expected to remain near hurricane strength while the center is near the coasts of North Carolina.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) mainly over water to the east of the center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). Multiple private weather stations along the coast of South Carolina near Myrtle Beach have recently reported hurricane-force wind gusts.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • North of South of Santee River to Surf City

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • North of Surf City to Cape Lookout

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • North of Surf City to Duck
  • Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

STORM SURGE

The combination of a dangerous storm surge, the tide, and large and destructive waves will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, including portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds…3 to 5 ft

Along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts southwest of Matthew’s center, inundation caused by Matthew’s storm surge will slowly recede today.

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur well in advance of and well away from the track of the center. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the coast from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina to Salvo, North Carolina including portions of the Pamlico Sound. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from Salvo to Duck, North Carolina including portions of the Albemarle Sound. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the Prototype National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

RAINFALL

Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches from northeast South Carolina into northeast North Carolina and southeast Virginia, with possible isolated totals of 20 inches possible. This rainfall may result in life-threatening flooding and flash flooding.

TORNADOES

A couple of tornadoes are possible this afternoon along the coast of North Carolina.

SURF

Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect much of the coast of the southeastern United States through early next week. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.

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