Hurricane Sandy brings tropical storm watch, high surf

The 8 p.m. tracking map from the National Hurricane Center shows the path Hurricane Sandy is expected to take over the next several days.

Sandy, the late season hurricane prompting major worries in the Northeast, could bring tropical storm conditions Saturday but the foul weather is expected to clear out Sunday.

A 70 percent chance of rain is forecast for Saturday with north winds at 20-to-30 miles per hour, gusting to 40 mph. The winds are expected to continue tonight but the rain is forecast to gradually diminish.

Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny with 15-25 mph winds, gusting to 30 mph.

Until the storm passes offshore, any light, unsecured items such as garbage cans could be blown around and become a potential hazard. Small tree limbs may be broken, and isolated power outages are possible, the National Weather Service reported.

Forecasters recommend staying out of the surf Saturday and Sunday. Dangerous rip currents and longshore currents will be life-threatening to anyone entering the water. High surf with breaking waves up to six feet will continue into early Sunday.

Beach erosion is also possible because of the large breaking waves and above normal tides.

Minor flooding is possible Saturday and Sunday at high tide.

A tropical storm warning is posted for coastal waters. Small craft should remain in port and well-secured.

Forecasters advise not to focus too much on the expected track of the storm because winds on the west side continue to expand as it moves northward.

“They just need to be keeping a close watch on the storm,” said Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen.

The city mobilized its fleet of high-water vehicles in the event they are needed, Mullen said.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.