Hanna to blow through Triangle Saturday

Posted September 4, 2008

— The threat of weekend winds and rain from Tropical Storm Hanna prompted Raleigh leaders to tinker with their concert schedule, and surrounding counties got out crews to clear debris from ditches and culverts on Thursday.

Although Tropical Storm Hanna was predicted to make landfall around Wilmington early Saturday, the impact on central North Carolina should be muted.

Gale-force winds could buffet the Triangle and Fayetteville late Friday, and most computer models have Hanna tracking through the Triangle Saturday on its way to southeastern Virginia. The storm could drop 2 to 3 inches of rain on the region before heading out.

Raleigh Wide Open, the city's biggest block party, will go on despite Hanna, but three concerts have been moved up, city officials said Thursday.

On Friday, Mercury Blue will go on at 4:45 p.m, instead of 5:15 p.m; Arrested Development at 5:45, instead of 7 p.m.; and headliner Chuck Berry at 7:30 p.m., instead of 8:30 p.m.

The dedication of Raleigh's new convention center at noon will still play a starring role in the opening act of Raleigh Wide Open.

The expected 50,000 downtown visitors will get a windy welcome Saturday.

"By midday on Saturday, if all goes as the models suggest, winds in the Triangle could blow to 30, 40 or 50 mph," Maze said.

Those strong winds might force organizers to cancel fireworks planned for Friday and Saturday nights, organizers said.

Raleigh leaders said they would continue to monitor Hanna's path and make further changes to the event schedule if the weather becomes more threatening.

"Anytime you have the public involved, you have to be concerned about safety," Mayor Charles Meeker said. "If it really does get windy, we'll have to make a change, but right now, it doesn't look like that. It looks like it might be a little rain and nothing too serious."

Leaders in eastern counties moved quickly Thursday to stave off flooding.

Five crews checked ditches and drains throughout Rocky Mount, looking for trouble spots that could cause flooding. They cleared debris from culverts and removed large tree limbs from creek beds.

"The fewer obstructions we have along the way, the faster the water can flow out," Blair Hinkle, the city's storm-water manager, said.

Rocky Mount's swift-water rescue team geared up for action locally or anywhere across the state. The city's fire department checked all its gear, from fuel levels to hoses on all fire trucks.

"We're very confident that certainly we'll be able to handle anything that comes our way with this storm," Hinkle said.

Crews made similar preparations in Fayetteville and Wilson, clearing ditches, and power crews stocked up on supplies.

Johnston County officials said they will notify residents of any emergency situations by a telephone notification system.


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  • greentara Sep 4, 2008

    oh blah blah blah, who cares about pathetic downtown raleigh? bad restaurants, stupid condo choices and moronic bars. I kinda think its funny, that the day the big wonderful convention center is finished, we have a hurricane roaring through to christen it. hee hee hee hee isn't it ironic?

  • bs101fly Sep 4, 2008

    and drunks will blow through road blocks all weekend long,
    SO WHAT!

  • agentm Sep 4, 2008

    OMG are you people serious i thought this was a post about weather now how did this get change to talking about a some people.....

  • lma1973 Sep 4, 2008

    LOL-no doubt some folks are going to get this storm worse than others...the same can be said for any given thunderstorm and your specific locale in a city. But no one is going to get devastated by this thing-its just not that ype of storm. Not strong enough and moving way too fast. You dont even have to take the weathermans word...just look at the satellite images, look at the speed, do your calculations and make your own assumptions. This si not the type of storm where we are all going to wake up to a Cat 3 tomorrow morning.

  • emeraldgirl Sep 4, 2008

    You know, I understand the fact that WRAL is based in Raleigh, but there happens to be quite a few viewers that -gasp- don't live in the Triangle. Looking at other sources, areas east of Raleigh may not get off quite as easy.

    Do I think this is going to be the storm of the century? No. But I also know that Mother Nature is unpredictable, and I'd rather be prepared than sitting around commenting on how stupid people are for doing so.

  • Tired Of Excuses Sep 4, 2008 people crack me up.
    I guess the best thing is to be prepared then you're set and good to go!

  • bs101fly Sep 4, 2008

    Sun will be out Saturday morning when you get up!
    This has been a joke from the beginning.

  • lma1973 Sep 4, 2008

    Anyone look at the satellite imagery on this one? It is a VERY ragged storm at best and appears to be falling apart. This thing wont have time to get much stronger and its sucking in dryer air and is being sheered apart. Fran was a STRONG Cat 2 storm-this one is not even close. No comparison. The Triangle will be lucky to get 2 inches of rain out of this. Sun will be out by 4:00 Sat afternoon.

  • zebmom Sep 4, 2008

    Think they are seriously downplaying this thing. I have been on Professional all day and I am thinking we could possibly have 50-60 mph winds. Not a flooding concern, but tornadoes and wind definitely. She is tracking more west which is scary.

  • patriotsrevenge Sep 4, 2008

    "But the predicted path may only bring some outer bands of wind and a chance of showers for the Triangle, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said."

    Then why are the computer models in the storm tracker section putting this thing right on top of us?