Hurricane Florence local update (10 a.m. Saturday)

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By Greg Summers


Here’s what we know this morning, based on latest local conditions from Hurricane Florence;

• U.S. 521 between Heath Springs and Kershaw is blocked due to a downed tree that has power lines entangled in it. A Lynches River Electric Cooperative crew is en route to get the tree up.

• Duke Energy is currently reporting 290 power outages at 23 Lancaster County locations. There are more than 150,000 power outages in the state, including 55,000 in Duke’s coverage area.

• Many places in the state have experienced downed trees in roadways, as well as 911 issues and losses of cell phone and internet service.

• Right now, there are five people at the Red Cross shelter at Buford High School. Lancaster County Fire Rescue/Emergency Management Director Darren Player said there are six people in a special needs shelter set up at Springs Memorial Hospital.

• Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is creeping westward across the state at a snail’s pace (2-3 mph). As of 8 a.m., the storm was positioned 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach with sustained winds of 50 mph. The outer rain bands of the storm are starting in drift across central South Carolina and local rainfall is expected to pick up this afternoon.

Check back later for updates.