High winds expected inland from Irene

Posted August 25, 2011
Updated April 24, 2013

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— Hurricane Irene shifted slightly east Friday morning, but it could still have an impact on North Carolina beyond the coast, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

She predicts that the Triangle could feel wind gusts of up to 50 mph and see 1 to 2 inches of rain by Sunday.

Storm kit Storm supplies checklist

That is in stark contrast to the coast, where up to a foot of rain is forecast for Wilmington and even more for Elizabeth City. The entire eastern half of the state is under a flash flood watch. Irene is expected to move along the Outer Banks Saturday as a Category 3 hurricane.

The forecast calls for rain from the outer bands of the storm to begin hitting North Carolina by mid-day on Friday and intensify significantly through the day Saturday.

The central part of the state may not bear the brunt of the storm, but that doesn't mean Irene won't dampen weekend plans, Maze said.

"Conditions will deteriorate overnight Friday into Saturday across the eastern half of the state," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel. "We are in for a very long couple of days."

Rain, wind greatest threat inland from Irene Rain, wind greatest threat inland from Irene

Heavy rain is possible as far west as the Triangle, and Cumberland County could see up to 2 inches or more fall by Sunday. Along the Interstate 95 corridor, 4 to 6 inches of rain could fall Saturday.

Winds will be steady in the 30-mph range with heavier gusts. There is a chance for tropical storm strength winds of up to 105 mph into the central part of the state.

Experts advise inland residents to prepare for spotty power outages by gassing up cars and generators, moving lawn furniture and other items indoors and stocking up on bottled water and cash. When power goes out, gas pumps, ATMs and credit card readers won't work.


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  • lyndabarton0154 Aug 26, 2011

    Fill your bathtub up with water so you can flush your toilets

  • durham_nc Aug 26, 2011

    "At what point do we fill the bathtub with water?"

    Wait until you're ready to take a bath. Any sooner and the water will get cold.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Aug 26, 2011

    "which is it, gusts of up to 50mph, or 100?"

    Neither. They are clueless. It's like saying the temps will be between 50 and 100. That way they're are correct no matter which fence they sit on. Compliments of your no spine weather dept.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Aug 26, 2011

    ""At what point do we fill the bathtub with water?"

    It's time to get a real home if you need to worry about filling a tub.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 26, 2011

    Yep I had to read it several time, but what I got from the article is that central NC will have winds of 30 mph and gust up to 50mph. There is a possibility that there could be wind gust up to 105 mph. What is the probability of wind gust up to 105 mph? NC is known for some strong wind shears during bad thunder storms.

  • Nancy Aug 26, 2011

    "At what point do we fill the bathtub with water?"

    While you still have power to the pump house would be one suggestion ;)

  • SueInNC Aug 26, 2011

    which is it, gusts of up to 50mph, or 100? I hate how this article was written - can't figure out what #s are for where! UGH.

  • superman Aug 26, 2011

    Wow they had 3 different WRAL weather people quoting on this post. They must be tripping over each other at the station. Why didnt they send some weather people to the coast instead of reporters? Guess it is ok for the reporters to get wet but not the weather people.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Aug 26, 2011

    Tomorrow by this time you will be putting your sun glasses on from the blindness the sun is causing you.

    should you choose to venture out to fill up your car with $$4 a gallon gas that is!

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Aug 26, 2011

    high winds, but it ain't the winds that are high, it's the ones scared of their own forecasts.