Myrtle Beach empty as Hurricane Florence arrives

Weather conditions are deteriorating at Myrtle Beach this afternoon, as Hurricane Florence continues to move ashore along the coast.

Florence made landfall this morning as a Category 1 storm along Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina --  about 80 miles north of Myrtle Beach along the coast.  

Because of the hurricane’s counter-clockwise rotation, the worst weather was on the north side of the storm.  But as Florence wobbled slowly southwest, stronger bands of rain and wind began lashing the South Carolina coast.

Wind gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour began blowing through Myrtle Beach, pushing trash cans and other debris down sidewalks and beach access lots.

The popular tourist destination is mostly empty thanks to an evacuation order put into place earlier this week.  Emergency crews were out Friday patrolling in military-style vehicles, keeping the roads and beaches clear.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue slowly drifting southwest, dumping several inches of rain over the Carolinas before it sweeps north on Sunday.  Flooding – both from storm surge along the coast and from those steady rains – is expected in the Myrtle Beach area.

Stay with FOX 46 for more from Myrtle Beach throughout the storm.