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Hurricane Ophelia Expected Path North Along Atlantic Coast from North and South Carolina

September 14th 2005

Hurricane Ophelia Expected Path North Along Atlantic Coast from North and South Carolina

Ophelia Expected Path

Hurricane Ophelia is moving towards North Carolina with 85 MPH sustained winds. A hurricane warning is in effect from the Little River Inlet northward to the North Carolina / Virginia Border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. A warning means the hurricane is expected to hit within 24 hours. 

A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remain in effect north of the North Carolina / Virginia border to Cape Charles Light Virginia, including the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.  A topical storm warning means a tropical storm is expected within 36 hours.

As of 9PM Eastern Time the National Weather Service reports that the center of the storm is located about 35 miles south-southwest of Cape Lookout North Carolina.  Ophelia is moving is moving erratically east-northeast at 7 MPH.  This motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. 

 

The center of Ophelia is expected to cross over or very near Cape Lookout within the next several hours.  The northern eyewall will continue to pass over the North Carolina coast for much of tonight and most of tomorrow.

Ophelia is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with some gusts reaching up to 92 MPH.  Winds are expected to increase over the night.  The hurricane force winds extend outward 50 miles from the center and tropical storm winds extend out 140 miles from the center. 

The storm surge is 5 to 7 feet above normal, and may reach 9 to 11 feet above normal.  Ophelia is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain in portions of eastern North Carolina during the next 24 hours with 15 inches possible with possible isolated tornadoes. 

 North Carolina Governor Mike Easley and Virginia Governor Mark Warner have declared a state of emergency.  This will free up resources before the storm hits. Schools were closed in 22 North Carolina counties.  The National Guard has been called up for storm response.   

 

Easley said the damage may be worse than Hurricane Isabel in 2003 or Alex in 2004 because Ophelia is moving slower.  ``If you have been asked to evacuate, please do so, because these floods will be worse than anticipated yesterday,'' Easley said in a televised news conference. When high winds arrive, ``we cannot come in to get you.''

North Carolina ordered evacuations of low lying flood-prone areas in six counties and voluntary evacuations elsewhere.  South Carolina has also advised some residents to evacuate according to Bloomberg News.   

This storm has already caused 78,000 electric customers to lose power.  About 50 shelters have been opened up housing 1,300 people in North Carolina.  South Carolina has also begun to open up shelters in Charleston, Horry and Georgetown counties.

Ophelia is the 15th names storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.  It began as a tropical depression on September 6th and became a hurricane on the 8th.     

 

After it brushes the North Carolina coast, Ophelia is forecast to move northeast into open water by the weekend. According the National Weather Service projections the storm will continue northeast along the Atlantic Coast towards New York and Maine.

Ophelia is the 15th named storm of the June 1 to Nov. 30 Atlantic hurricane season. It began as a tropical depression on Sept. 6, strengthening a day later to a tropical storm. It first became a hurricane on Sept. 8, then weakened back to a storm and strengthened again to a hurricane three times, most recently yesterday.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Keywords and misspellings: Hurricane huricane Ophelia Ophilia Ofelia Ofilia


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:39 PM