Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall Saturday morning. Residents on the coast of North Carolina woke up to strong gusts of wind, reaching 70 miles per hour in certain parts of the state.
Several coastal counties in North Carolina such as Beaufort and Craven are under the threat of flooding, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Another danger is strong ocean currents:
Here's the weather snapshot for a busy Saturday
-Ophelia will produce heavy rain, flooding, coastal surge and tropical storm conditions in North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic
-Severe weather with tornadoes, hail and winds and heavy rain with flooding are likely in the Central US pic.twitter.com/GMqE7fxCfV
— National Weather Service (@NWS) September 23, 2023
Virginia is also under threat from the tropical storm. "There is a danger of storm surge flooding in some areas of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, the lower James River, and the lower Chesapeake Bay, where storm surge warnings are in effect. Residents in these areas should follow the advice of local authorities," noted the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
"Surges generated by this system will affect much of the East Coast of the US. over the weekend, likely causing potentially deadly waves and rip currents," the NHC continued in its statement, warning of the dangers for those sailing or going to sea.
The Raleigh NWS center reported that, early this morning, rains are producing flooding of up to three inches in North Carolina. They have requested that citizens do not drive on flooded roads.
We are watching two bands of rain as they pivot through the Coastal Plain this morning.
The first (yellow) is producing 0.5" to 1" of rain per hour, while the second (red) is producing upwards of 1 to 3 inches per hour.
— NWS Raleigh (@NWSRaleigh) September 23, 2023
According to PowerOutage.us, more than 40,000 residents in North Carolina and approximately 12,000 in Virginia are without power.