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Hurricane Dorian pummels region with wind, fear

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S.C. emergency officials monitor Dorian as the category 3 hurricane approaches South Carolina. (Photo/S.C. Emergency Management Division)

Hurricane Dorian was a shared experience for residents and businesses of the Lowcountry, with or without electricity, as it spun off the coast as a Category 3 hurricane and raked the area with wave after wave of wind this morning.

The slow-moving storm continued a northerly pass along the coast at 8 mph as of 8 a.m.

The S.C. Emergency Management Division reported more than 222,000 power outages across the state as of 9:20 a.m. Dominion Energy, which recently completed its acquisition of SCE&G, reported more than 100,000 customers across South Carolina without electricity as of 7 a.m.

“We are experiencing widespread outages in our coastal service territory as Hurricane Dorian impacts the area,” Dominion said in a statement. “Damage assessments are ongoing, and are necessary to ensure that crews can work safely and quickly to restore power.”

The National Weather Service said coastal residents should expect downed trees and possible structural damage to buildings in Dorian's path.

Just before Labor Day, it was clear the storm was likely to make its way to the Carolinas. Charleston-area businesses spent what they had hoped would be a busy weekend watching a massive storm devastate the Bahamas and threaten at least a week’s worth of economic activity and possibly a lot more.

Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation of coastal counties by Monday and reversed the eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 for several days to ease the flow of evacuation traffic.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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