Rain comes to an end in Triangle as Hermine pushes off NC coast
Posted September 2, 2016
Updated September 3, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Rain associated with Tropical Storm Hermine was pulling out of central and eastern North Carolina Saturday morning, and the storm will push out into the Atlantic Ocean by mid-morning, allowing many to salvage the long holiday weekend.
No serious issues were reported as a result of the storm. Power outages and downed trees were limited.
WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said Hermine's track and speed kept the impact in check.
Rain was pushing out of the state Saturday from west to east. "The storm is moving out of here quickly, and the Triangle has almost seen the last of the rain from the system - at least the last of the heaviest rain," said Gardner.
The possibility for a few scattered showers will carry into Saturday afternoon, popping up as early as lunchtime. According to Gardner, much of the day will feel blustery and breezy, but heavy rain should no longer be a problem.
Now that the storm is nearing its end, Gardner says Hermine's rainfall totals met meteorologists' expectations.
"We got about 1 to 2 inches across much of the Triangle and then increasing amounts down east," Gardner said. "Goldsboro got about 5 inches, and we've received reports of up to 8 inches in and around Wilmington."
Despite the impressive totals in some spots, Gardner said the steady nature of the rain – most spots avoided torrential bands often seen in tropical systems – kept the flooding in check.
"It was just nice and steady. We didn't have the heavy, heavy rain, and with it being so dry, our creeks and rivers could handle the rain," she said.
At the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, people did not let the rain keep them from the Luke Bryan concert. Fans who bought tickets weeks and months in advance, turned the showers into something to celebrate.
In Raleigh, car dealerships near Crabtree Creek, an area prone to flooding, moved vehicles to higher ground as a precaution. The creek also runs near Crabtree Valley Mall, which has also seen flooding in the past. In an effort to be proactive, the mall warned shoppers about flooding and closed the lower level of a parking garage to avoid problems.
Around Fayetteville, where the National Weather Service measured more than 3.5 inches of rainfall through 11 p.m., police responded to a number of fender benders, most of them a result of wet roads. Officials say flooding and severe accidents were not a problem.
One tree fell down in a neighborhood on Colinwood Drive, off South McPhearson Road. Road crews made quick work of cutting it up and getting it out of the road.
Total rainfall amounts varied, from almost 4 inches in New Bern to almost nothing in Roxboro. The track of the storm was such that some counties along the North Carolina-Virginia border got little to no rain.
The rain was coming to an end at daybreak Saturday in the Raleigh area, and the National Weather Service canceled flash flood watches for the bulk of the Triangle.
Even areas along North Carolina's coast should start recovering well from the storm, though Gardner cautions beach-goers to beware of rip currents in the ocean.
Hermine was centered west of the Outer Banks at 5 a.m., and it had sustained winds of about 60 mph. "It will be zipping off the Outer Banks by this afternoon," Gardner said. "Then it will slow down and meander around, and it could become a hurricane off the coast of Delaware and New Jersey."
Clouds from Hermine will linger throughout much of the day, and spotty showers aren't out of the question as moisture wraps around the system. Highs will reach the mid-to upper-70s by Saturday afternoon. Sunday's highs will be a little warmer, breaking into the 80s.
"We should end up with some sunshine on Sunday, and Sunday and Monday look really great," Gardner said. Labor Day will be even warmer, but not too humid, with highs approaching 90 degrees and little to no chance for precipitation.