Tropical storm's winds could hinder wildfire efforts
Officials fighting a wildfire that has burned thousands of acres in eastern North Carolina had hoped Tropical Storm Cristobal would bring heavy rain before moving away from shore.Posted — Updated
"This fire has been likened to a charcoal grill where you have the coals just glowing and continue to glow. And even when we get some rain on the area the heat is still there," said Bruce MacDonald, with the N.C. Forest Service.
Tropical Storm Cristobal headed for the open Atlantic late Sunday as forecasters discontinued tropical storm warnings along North Carolina.
Monday morning, Cristobal's maximum sustained winds were 50 mph.
The storm's strongest winds were east of the center, out at sea, National Weather Service meteorologist Rich Bandy said. Winds on the coastal side of the storm were about 25 mph and will have little impact on coastal cities unless the storm strengthens.
A WRAL crew recorded gusts up to 22 mph in Buxton at 6 p.m. Sunday. Earlier, a crew recorded gusts up to 42 mph along the coast from Cristobal.
“It’s kind of like a washing machine out there today,” Brooks said of the conditions.
Realtors in the Cape Hatteras area reported 94 percent occupancy for the weekend with only a few cancellations.
The National Weather Service said a few areas could see flooding from heavy rain. Minor flooding was reported Saturday in Wilmington, and the area picked up 3.43 inches of rain, a record for the day.
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