Tropical storm warnings, watches issued for NC coast as system moves closer

Posted August 28
Updated August 29

— Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for parts of the North Carolina coast as a storm is expected to move through the area over the coming days.

A system that developed off the coast of Georgia began moving up the coast Monday morning and is expected to bring heavy rain to North Carolina through Tuesday.

A tropical storm watch was issued for the entire North Carolina coast Sunday evening but that was expanded to a tropical storm warning for central and northern parts of the coast Monday afternoon.

"The heaviest rain out of this thing will be east of Interstate 95," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.

The system on Monday night had moved closer to North Carolina, but was rather unorganized and did not have the closed circulation necessary to make a tropical storm. Although winds had exceeded 39 mph, the storm had not been named Monday afternoon because of the lack of circulation.

"The chances of this thing becoming a named entity are beginning to decrease," said Fishel.

High temperatures on Tuesday will top out in the low 70s.

"It will feel fall-like," Fishel said.

Fishel said that even if the system doesn't develop into Tropical Storm Irma, it would still have the same impact on the region.

A wind advisory has been issued for dozens of counties, including Johnston, Cumberland and Harnett counties, from 8 p.m. Monday night trough 8 p.m. Tuesday night. Gardner said counties under the advisory could see wind gusts between 35 mph and 45 mph.

"We'll see gusty winds, we may see some trees down and we'll have some heavy rain but not enough to cause severe flooding," Fishel said.

By Tuesday evening, it should be pulling away, taking any rain it will bring to the state with it.

Areas along NC, SC coast prepare for potential tropical storm

On Monday, officials in several coastal counties were warning residents to take precautions ahead of the storm. Residents are advised to secure lawn furniture and outdoor grills and prepare for possible power outages and localized flooding.

"Many North Carolinians are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew's devastation last fall and we've watched sympathetically over the past few days as Texans struggle with the impact of Hurricane Harvey," said Gov. Roy Cooper. "While this storm is not predicted to be that severe, we want everyone to take it seriously and ensure your family is prepared."

The director of ocean rescue said there were red flag conditions in place Monday afternoon, meaning people are advised to stay out of the water.

"We coordinate with the National Weather Service twice a day and we look at the swell, the wind and what's going on in the forecast not only now but what's going to happen in the future of what type of conditions we're going to have the next day," said Ocean Rescue Director Dave Baker.

Ocean rescue, fire rescue and the police chief in Wrightsville Beach said they're expecting the storm to be a wind and rain event with some flooding, but they want residents to remain vigilant over the next several hours.

"Outside of being in the water, it could be flooding, I think, unless we get really strong winds where you have flying debris," said Wrightsville Police Chief Daniel House. "When the water rises, people like to drive through it, which causes problems and of course somebody could get hurt or killed doing something like that."

School in New Hanover announce they would be operating on a two-hour delay Tuesday as a result of the storm.


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