Flooding a possibility into early Saturday
Posted September 2
9:10 p.m.: The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for counties in central and eastern North Carolina through midnight as
moderate to heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Hermine fell on top of 3 inches that had already accumulated.
Another 1 to 3 inches of rain was expected overnight.
In the advisory, the weather service asked that drivers be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of floods and flash floods.
9:05 p.m.: Vacationers in Myrtle Beach spent much of Friday indoors, watching as Hermine's rains swelled the surf.
8:40 p.m.: A cluster of fender-benders on southbound Interstate 95 through Johnston County has the highway closed at the Keen Road exit (Exit 87) near Four Oaks.
8 p.m.: The center of Tropical Storm Hermine was located near Myrtle Beach, 164 miles SSW of Raleigh, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. Expect rainfall and wind speeds to increase in the coming hours as the strongest part of the storm moves into North Carolina.
7:45 p.m.: Duke Energy reported 11,056 customers without power statewide; 4,284 in east, 4,009 central, 2,763 in west. Included in that number were traffic lights along Raleigh's South Saunders Street.
6:25 p.m.: Duke Energy Progress said 1,859 customers were without power in Wake County.
6:15 p.m.: Rainfall in Fayetteville, Goldsboro and Clinton were nearing 1.75 inches.
5:30 p.m.: NC Emergency management reported about 6,500 customers without power statewide.
5:10 p.m.: Water on the roads, along with increased holiday travel, has caused delays on major highways across the Triangle.
5 p.m.: Rain and wind are pounding the coast. Horizontal rain was reported at Wrightsville Beach and flooding was reported on neighborhood streets around Wilmington.
5 p.m.: The storm was sitting near Charleston, about 200 miles southwest of Raleigh and moving north-northeast at about 20 mph. It had maximum sustained winds of about 50 mph.
4:17 a.m.: A tornado watch was issued for the coastal counties.
4:05 p.m.: Roads across the Triangle are wet, but mainly clear heading into Friday's evening commute.
3:50 p.m.: Saturday's Luke Bryan concert at Raleigh's Coastal Credit Union Music Park is still on, despite the rain, according to a promoter.
2:40 p.m.: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency as Hermine barrels up the East Coast from Florida.
At news conference Friday afternoon, McAuliffe warned that the storm could bring "life-threatening" storm surges to the eastern part of the state, including heavily populated areas such as Virginia Beach.
2:30 p.m.: Gov. Pat McCrory says emergency rescue teams with boats are ready if they are needed due to flooding.
"We've got everything deployed in the right way, especially in eastern and southeastern North Carolina," he said.
McCrory and Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry says they haven't received any reports of major flooding as of mid-afternoon Friday.
"We'll be carefully monitoring all flood gauges and working with out county partners," Sprayberry said.
2:15 p.m.: Gov. Pat McCrory will provide updates at 2:30 p.m. during a press availability in Raleigh.
2 p.m.: WRAL's Football Friday and HighSchoolOT Live shows have been washed out due to Hermine.
1:26 p.m.: The Wake County Public School System has canceled all events scheduled after 6 p.m. on Friday due to inclement weather, school officials announced.
1:15 p.m.: Duke Energy is putting extra resources along the North Carolina coast to prepare for power outages associated with Hermine.
Officials said Friday they are moving more than 200 line workers to Morehead City and Wilmington.
Duke Energy said customers should double check their supplies of batteries, flash lights, bottled water and non-perishable foods in case of power outages.
They also offered the following tips:
- As severe weather moves through the area, be watchful for downed or sagging power lines. Consider all lines energized as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy.
- If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you must get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
1 p.m.: Friday's soccer game between No. 2 North Carolina and NC State has been postponed due to Hermine, officials said Friday afternoon. A possible makeup date will be announced at a later time.
12:50 p.m.: The Mexican Consulate released information in Spanish Friday afternoon to warn the Hispanic community about the threats from Hermine.
12:26 p.m.: Because of the impending rain and wind from Hermine, East Carolina University is cancelling classes beginning at 5 p.m. or later on Friday.
11:40 a.m.: Law enforcement officials in Brunswick County are warning drivers to avoid high water in several low-lying areas that often flood.
The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook at about 11 a.m. that water was beginning to run across N.C. Highway 133 near Funston Road.
Officials said water was also covering part of N.C. Highway 179/904 in Ocean Isle.
11:11 a.m.: The potential of drenching rain and flooding from Hermine has forced the cancellation or postponement of several events in North Carolina.
The Fort Fisher State Historic Site near Wilmington and the Moores Creek National Battlefield closed Friday.
A fireworks show planned for the coastal community of Carolina Beach was postponed from Friday until Saturday.
Officials at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks warned that dangerous rip currents were affecting beaches all along the seashore.
11 a.m.: The latest update from the National Hurricane Center indicates that tropical storm Hermine has weakened a bit as it moves through Georgia.
At 11 a.m., the storm was about 400 miles west-southwest of Hatteras with sustained winds of 60 mph, down about 10 mph since the 8 a.m. update.
Hermine has also picked up speed. It's moving northeast at about 18 mph.
Also at 11 a.m., the National Weather Service in Raleigh has expanded a wind advisory in eastern North Carolina to include Edgecombe, Halifax and Wilson counties.
Areas in the wind advisory could see sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts between 35 and 45 mph, officials said. Power outages are possible.
10:40 a.m.: North Carolina's Emergency Response Team has activated its joint information center in response to Hermine. The JIC will coordinate the release of information regarding storm preparation and response, officials said.
Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry said the state's National Guard soldiers, State Highway Patrol troopers and Department of Transportation crews are ready to respond where needed.
“We want to remind everyone to not be complacent even after the storm passes because more deaths occur due to flooding than to any other severe weather hazard,” Perry said in a statement. “Please remember to 'Turn around, don’t drown.'”
10:30 a.m.: Florida Gov. Rick Scott says a homeless man died in north Florida when a tree fell on him while he slept in a tent near Ocala. No other deaths or major injuries have been reported as Hermine continues its trek north.
10:12 a.m.: Amusement park Carowinds, which straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina border, will not open as planned on Friday night due to anticipated rain from Hermine, officials said. The park had been scheduled to open from 5 to 10 p.m. The park will reopen for normal hours at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets purchased for use on Friday will be taken at the park for any single operating day through Sept. 11.
9:40 a.m.: Cumberland County Schools are the latest school system to announce an early release on Friday. Students in the county will be let out two hours early. Other systems are also releasing early in eastern counties.
9:30 a.m.: State officials are urging residents in North Carolina to be alert for possible flooding as Hermine moves toward the area.
Gov. Pat McCrory said the goal is to be "over prepared and under whelmed" by the tropical system making its way up the East Coast.
"Rivers can rise very, very quickly, so keep clear of those," McCrory said. "Also, do not drive your cars through high water. Be smart, let's get through this storm, and we'll all get to enjoy Labor Day."
9:20 a.m.: Gov. Pat McCrory will speak at 9:30 about how North Carolina is preparing to handle wind and rain from Hermine as it pushes through the state on Friday and Saturday. Watch live on WRAL.com.
9 a.m.: Hermine's outer bands are moving through the southeastern areas of the state, and rain should continue to increase from east to west into the Triangle during the late morning hours.
Areas in and around the Triangle could see 2 to 4 inches of rain, and those amounts will increase from west to east. Coastal communities could see 6 to 8 inches of rain before the storm moves out.
WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner says the afternoon and evening will be quite messy on area roads, and flooding is possible across the Triangle and to the south and east.
"If you can delay your weekend travel until Saturday, that's the best bet, because it's going to be a headache getting around this afternoon and evening," she said.