Hurricane Joaquin gained strength as it bore down on the central Bahamas early Thursday, and forecasters said it was likely to grow into a major storm while following a path that would near the U.S. East Coast by the weekend.
Imagine the scenario: A storm is coming and Gov. Nikki Haley has called for an evacuation of the state's coastal areas. All routes inland are slow-moving or gridlocked. You see that wall of bumper-to-bumper cars on U.S. 278, and you think "Maybe we'd be better off hunkering down at home."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is testing a new feature that lets people get a look at what kind of damage and storm surges are possible, and using nearby Charleston for the preliminary model.
A tropical storm forming off the coast of Florida is expected to have minimal effect on Beaufort County, but emergency management officials are still monitoring the storm as it starts to push northward.