Unleashing Chaos: Monster Storm Ophelia Threatens East Coast – Are You Prepared?

Over the weekend, Ophelia’s center is forecast to traverse eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes portions of Maryland and Delaware.

Tropical Storm Ophelia
Storm surge warnings are in effect for several regions, with surges ranging from 1 to 6 feet.

Tropical Storm Ophelia intensified as it originated off the Atlantic coast on Friday afternoon, posing a threat of heavy rainfall, storm surges, and strong winds to the East Coast this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It is expected to make landfall in North Carolina early on Saturday, with its most significant impact anticipated in parts of North Carolina and Virginia, potentially leading to “life-threatening flash flooding.”

As of a late Friday night advisory from the Miami-based center, Ophelia had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and was moving at 13 mph. It was located approximately 70 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

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Over the weekend, Ophelia’s center is forecast to traverse eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes portions of Maryland and Delaware. It is predicted to weaken after making landfall, according to the hurricane center.

North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland governors declared a state of emergency ahead of Ophelia’s arrival, prompting the closure of some schools and cancellation of various weekend events.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore cautioned, “We are expecting an extended period of strong winds, heavy rainfall, and elevated tides.”

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A hurricane watch was issued for approximately 130 miles of the North Carolina coastline, from Surf City north to the Ocracoke Inlet.

Forecasters anticipate that some areas of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia may receive up to 7 inches of rain, while southern New York and southern New England could see 1 to 3 inches of rain through Monday.

Storm surge warnings are in effect for several regions, with surges ranging from 1 to 6 feet forecasted for parts of North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware, as reported by the hurricane center.

A tropical storm warning encompasses the region from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to Fenwick Island, Delaware, including the Chesapeake Bay, tidal Potomac, Albemarle, and Pamlico Sounds.

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Ophelia‘s effects were already felt, with disruptions to services like water taxis in Annapolis and postponements of events, including the Nationals baseball game in Washington.

Additionally, North Carolina Emergency Management warned of large swells from distant Hurricane Nigel impacting the state’s coast, increasing the risk of rip currents, beach erosion, and coastal flooding.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin activated the state’s Emergency Support Team to manage the storm’s impact, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinated closely with local weather service offices.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Nigel was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, located about 640 miles northwest of the Azores, with sustained winds of 70 mph. No coastal watches or warnings were associated with Nigel as it moved northeast at 37 mph, according to the hurricane center’s final update on the system on Friday morning.

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