Tropical Storm Bonnie ruins long weekend on Carolina beaches - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tropical Storm Bonnie ruins long weekend on Carolina beaches

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Tropical Storm Bonnie formed Saturday afternoon off the coast of South Carolina as heavy rains from the system ruined the start of the long holiday weekend.

Top sustained winds reached 40 mph Saturday afternoon, making it the season's second-named tropical storm, four days before the official start of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The center of Bonnie was about 125 miles from Charleston as of 5 p.m. EDT, the Miami-based center said in advising. Bonnie was moving toward the coast at 10 mph and tropical storm warnings were issued for the entire South Carolina coast.

The worst of the rain and wind was ahead of the storm, which was expected to near the coast south of Charleston Sunday, then turn to the northeast and slowly dissipate as it moves along the coast of the Carolinas over the rest of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, forecasters said.

Heavy rain and dangerous surf kept people off the Georgia, South Carolina and southern North Carolina beaches on Saturday. No evacuations have been ordered, with forecasters saying the biggest danger will likely be from locally heavy rain.

Officials in Charleston were monitoring the winds. The area has 15 bridges over water than are at least 65-feet tall that are closed when winds get 40 mph or above.

Near Myrtle Beach, authorities said they were worried mostly about heavy rain causing dangerous driving conditions as thousands of bikers and their motorcycles make their annual trip to the area.

The first Atlantic storm of 2016 was Hurricane Alex, which made an unseasonable debut in January over the far eastern Atlantic. The storm was the first hurricane to form in the Atlantic in January since 1938 and made landfall in the Azores on Jan. 15.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. 

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