TS Danny

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Tropical Storm Danny made landfall Monday evening on South Carolina’s coast, threatening to dump heavy rains on parts of the Southeast as it moves inland.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had top sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) as it moved ashore just north of Hilton Head on Pritchards Island. Danny was expected to move during the nighttime hours into east-central Georgia, rapidly weakening over land.

The fourth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season formed close to South Carolina’s coast during the afternoon Monday.

Forecasters said it could drop heavy rains as far inland as the north Georgia Piedmont area and northeast Alabama. Dangerous surf conditions also were expected along parts of the Southeast seacoast.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

MIAMI (AP) — Newly formed Tropical Storm Danny strengthened Monday afternoon as it barreled nearer to the South Carolina coast, and forecasters said the storm could dump heavy rains around the Southeast as it races inland.

The fourth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season formed close to South Carolina’s coast and had top sustained winds of 45 mph (65 kph) with higher guests.

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The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Danny was expected to make landfall early Monday evening along the South Carolina coast and then move into east-central Georgia during the night hours. No change in strength was expected until landfall as forecasters expected rapid weakening after Danny begins moving inland.

Tropical storm force winds were already being felt in South Carolina on Monday afternoon. A weather station at Folly Beach — just outside Charleston — recorded a wind gust of 41 mph (66 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

At 8 p.m., the storm was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Charleston, South Carolina, according to the Miami-based hurricane center said. The system was moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph).

Danny emerged from a tropical depression off the coast earlier in the week. A tropical storm warning was posted earlier Monday for a swath of the Southeast coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina.

The storm could produce between 1 and 3 inches (3 to 8 centimeters) of rain with higher amounts in some coastal areas. Forecasters said heavy rainfall could occur in some spots as far inland as north Georgia and northeast Alabama as the storm treks into the Southeast.

In Savannah, Georgia, all systems were go for Tuesday night’s Savannah Bananas home baseball game as organizers eyed the storm. Officials for the collegiate summer league team planned to cover the field with tarp on Monday in preparation for the game.

“For us, being on the coast and being in Savannah, we get some nasty pop-up storms that can dump an inch of rain in just a few hours,” Bananas President Jared Orton said Monday. “This one doesn’t look like much more than just a nice, passing day of rain. I think we’re good to go as long as the sun comes out tomorrow and it should be a beautiful night in Savannah, I would think.”

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