Coastal storm churns at Va. Beach, Outer Banks
We have had to secure and lockdown everything in our yard. All lawn furniture has been put away the winds are higher in this storm than the hurricane winds. I said before we get worst nor' easters than Hurricanes at times. The wind gust have been up to 50 miles per hour here at the beach. We had severe flooding in low line area's all this and the rain hasn't come yet. Hampton Roads 99.9% of it is at or below sea level. Parts of Norfolk are below sea level.
A storm that could strengthen into a tropical system was poised to hit North Carolina's coastline with 40 mph wind gusts and several inches of rain, forecasters said Wednesday.
Meteorologist Mark Bacon at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington said the storm probably would turn westward and come ashore early Thursday near Cape Fear.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the system was very wide and could bring winds to a large coastal area. A hurricane hunter aircraft was being sent to examine the storm.
Gale warnings were posted for most of the Southeast coast from Florida to north of Maryland. Forecasters also issued a hurricane force wind warning, meaning ships more than 20 miles out at sea could expect winds of 65 mph or more. Waves Wednesday afternoon near the Gulf Stream would tower between 20 and 30 feet, subsiding to 8 to 12 feet Thursday night, the weather service said.
The hurricane center said chances were more than 50 percent that the storm would become a tropical system -- a rotating mass of wind and rain that sometimes can strengthen into a hurricane. It also said a low-pressure system over Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, had potential to strengthen as it moved northward.
But along the North and South Carolina coast, some seasoned residents said the storm was a typical blast that kicked up waves and kept most boats tied to their docks.
"Nobody's fishing. The ocean's too choppy. Solid whitecaps. The wind's ripping," said Ocracoke Island charter captain Dave Nagel. "It's just a regular old nor'easter."
Schools closed early in Dare County on the Outer Banks, and N.C. Route 12 flooded on Hatteras Island but didn't close, said county spokeswoman Dorothy Toolan. The local premiere of the movie "Nights in Rodanthe" was going ahead as scheduled, but locals who were in the film and drove up from Hatteras Island were offered discounted motel rooms if they needed to stay.