Tropical Storm Colin hits the Carolinas

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Colin formed along the South Carolina coast on Saturday, bringing the threat of rain and high winds for a day or two over the holiday weekend before improving for the Monday July 4 celebrations.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami warned of the possibility of localized flash flooding along the Carolinas coast through Sunday morning. As of 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, the center of the storm was about 10 miles (15 kilometers) west-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/ h). It was moving northeast at 7 mph (11 km/h).

The hurricane center said a tropical storm warning is in effect for a stretch from Little River, South Carolina north to Duck, North Carolina, including Pamlico Sound. The storm is not expected to strengthen as it moves into the Atlantic on Monday.

“Colin will continue to produce heavy rain locally over parts of the South Coast and North Carolina through Sunday morning,” the center said. Isolated quantities can reach up to 4 inches (10 centimeters).

“This rainfall can lead to localized areas of flash flooding,” the center said.

Some Fourth of July celebrations scheduled for Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, were canceled after a significant amount of water pooled on the grounds of Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park and more rain was expected.

“Obviously we’re disappointed,” said Scott Watson, the city’s director of cultural affairs. “It promised to be a big family event, and we hate having to cancel.

Organizers were also forced to cancel a planned festival in Southport, North Carolina.

“The safety of festival-goers, vendors, volunteers, rescue workers and everyone else is our top priority,” festival spokeswoman Trisha Howarth said in a statement.

Separately, the center of Tropical Storm Bonnie rolled into the Pacific on Saturday after a brisk march through Central America, where it caused flooding, downed trees and forced thousands to evacuate in Nicaragua and Costa Rica . No deaths were immediately reported.

As of early Saturday afternoon, Bonnie was centered about 110 miles (180 kilometers) southwest of Managua, still with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph). It was moving west at 15 mph (24 km/h).

It is one of the few storms to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific without losing tropical storm strength, thus retaining its name. Forecasters said Bonnie would likely become a hurricane this week off Mexico’s southern coast, but it was unlikely to hit land directly.

Many Nicaraguans still remember Hurricane Joan, a powerful 1988 storm that wreaked havoc on the coast and killed nearly 150 people in the country.

“We’re waiting for the storm to hit, hoping it won’t destroy our area,” said Bluefields resident Ricardo Gómez, who was 8 when Joan hit, before Bonnie arrived.

The region was also hit by two powerful hurricanes, Eta and Iota, back to back in 2020, causing damage estimated at $700 million.

Costa Rican officials have expressed concern that the storm will trigger landslides and flooding in an area already saturated with rainy days. The government said seven shelters in the northern part of the country were already housing nearly 700 people displaced by the floods.

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