Tropical Storm Ophelia Strikes the East Coast

Tropical Storm Ophelia’s Impact and Developments

Tropical Storm Ophelia has made a powerful landfall in North Carolina, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake as it progresses up the East Coast. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the storm’s impact and the ongoing developments:

Landfall and Power Outages

On a Saturday morning, Ophelia forcefully landed near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, as a potent tropical storm. Its formidable winds led to widespread power outages, affecting tens of thousands of residences and businesses. Concurrently, heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding expanded well beyond the storm’s core.

Ongoing Impact on North Carolina and Virginia

Currently, Tropical Storm Ophelia continues to unleash strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surge flooding along the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. These conditions have resulted in significant power outages in the affected areas.

Broad Impact on the Mid-Atlantic

Ophelia is anticipated to bring heavy rainfall to a substantial portion of the mid-Atlantic region, including states like Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. The storm is expected to persist throughout the weekend.

Focus on North Carolina

North Carolina’s coastal regions are poised to bear the brunt of Ophelia’s effects, with an early Saturday landfall predicted by the National Hurricane Center. Near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, the storm’s maximum sustained winds reached approximately 70 mph.

Power Outages and Rainfall

As of early Saturday, around 52,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia had lost power. Eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia may witness rainfall ranging from 3 to 7 inches, heightening the risk of flash flooding.

Key Alerts and Warnings

Here are crucial alerts and warnings associated with Tropical Storm Ophelia:

Hurricane Watch: Areas north of Surf City, North Carolina, to Ocracoke Inlet are under a hurricane watch. The state has also declared a state of emergency.

Storm Surge Threat: Storm surge watches and warnings are in effect from Surf City, North Carolina, to the Chesapeake Bay. Storm surges, driven by powerful winds, are already rising along some coastal areas in North Carolina.

Dangerous Flooding: Eastern North Carolina faces an elevated risk of flash flooding, especially during the overnight hours. Storm surge is expected along the Pamlico and Neuse rivers.

Rainfall Projections: The Mid-Atlantic states could receive 2 to 4 inches of rain on Saturday night through Sunday, while southern New York through southern New England may expect 1 to 3 inches of rain starting on Saturday and continuing into Monday.

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Impact on Communities

Tropical Storm Ophelia has already disrupted several communities:

Flooded Roads in North Carolina: Coastal areas in North Carolina began experiencing flooded roads on Friday, including Highway 12 on Cedar Island.

Flooding in New Bern: In New Bern, located 120 miles east of Raleigh, roads were submerged, and water inundated the downtown area. Social media images showed flooded children’s parks and ducks floating down inundated streets.

Ophelia’s Path and Additional Concerns

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 300 miles from Ophelia’s center, with the possibility of tornadoes in parts of the coastal mid-Atlantic. Maryland’s governor has declared an emergency due to the storm’s potential impact, urging residents to prioritize safety.

Flash Flooding and Urban Flooding

Ophelia’s heavy rainfall may lead to flash and urban flooding across the Mid-Atlantic states, from North Carolina to New Jersey, throughout Sunday.

Surf and Rip Currents

The storm also poses a danger of dangerous surf and rip currents along the East Coast throughout the weekend, as per warnings from the National Hurricane Center.

Surge Predictions

In some areas, a surge of one to five feet is possible, particularly in inlets and rivers from Surf City, North Carolina, to Manasquan Inlet on the New Jersey shore. Stay informed and stay safe during this impactful weather event.

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