Published: 2008-09-05 06:06:00
Updated: 2011-10-12 09:51:11
Posted September 5, 2008 6:06 a.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2011 9:51 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Triangle residents could see 2 to 4 inches of rain, wind gusts up to 40 mph and possible isolated tornadoes when Tropical Storm Hanna makes landfall early Saturday.
The heaviest band of rain is expected around 6 a.m. Saturday, WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. The rain should be out of the area by 2 p.m. Saturday.
"This storm is moving fast now," Gardner said.
Friday's highs will be in the low 80s, and skies will become increasingly cloudier in the afternoon as Hanna approaches.
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.
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.
Click here to find out which streets will be closed for Raleigh Wide Open.
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. Those strong winds might force organizers to cancel fireworks planned for Friday and Saturday nights, officials 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 have moved quickly 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.
Due to the storm, WRAL-TV will broadcast news at 5 and 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The U.S. Open tennis tournament can be seen on WRAL NewsChannel, Time Warner cable ch. 252, starting at 5 p.m.