Storm upgrades to Tropical Storm Hermine

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016

As of Wednesday, Tropical Depression No. 9 is now Tropical Storm Hermine.

The National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City issued a hazardous weather watch for 13 counties in eastern North Carolina, including Beaufort County, Wednesday at noon.

Hermine is forecasted to hit the area around Friday evening or Saturday morning, but the weather effects will begin as early as this evening and last as late as Saturday evening.

Beaufort County is expected to see anywhere from 2 to 8 inches of rain, with rainfall amounts highest in the eastern parts of the county, according to NWS.

Weather officials are warning residents about the possibility of flash flooding and tropical storm-force winds up to 50 mph.

John Pack, director of Beaufort County Emergency Management Services, said emergency teams prepare for hurricane season every year, so at this point, they are watching to see where the storm moves.

“Right now, the closest approach to Beaufort County, if the track stays the same and if the intensity stays the same…is 102 miles,” Pack said. “We are continuing monitoring the situation and discussing with different, other county agencies.”

He said officials have a conference call set for Thursday with N.C. Emergency Management to assess the latest changes and come up with an update for the public.

Pack said personnel are also in touch with Beaufort County Schools to keep the district up to date, as well. Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps has already pushed Friday’s sports games up to Thursday.

“Every time we have an event, we learn a little bit more,” Pack said. “Rest assured it’s all about the safety of the students and safety of the staff.”

As of Wednesday at 1 p.m., Hermine was located in the Gulf of Mexico, southwest of Florida, moving north with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It is expected to continue moving north/northeast as it travels up the East Coast.

“If it stays on its current track, we should weather the storm,” Pack said. “We’re doing the things that we need to.”


Effects on Hyde County 

Between 4-8 inches of rainfall is expected Thursday through Saturday on the mainland, with totals potentially reaching 10 inches on Ocracoke, which is under a high risk of rip currents, as well. NWS is also predicting a 30- to 40-percent chance of tropical storm-force winds in Hyde County of 39 mph or more. Officials warn of rising water levels in coastal regions, as well as areas near the Pamlico Sound as the storm moves up the coast. A flash flood warning will likely be issued.

“Regardless of exact track, ample amounts of tropical moisture will be streaming over the area, with heavy rains likely for an extended period of time,” a NWS report states.