Eastern NC prepares for tropical storm weather

Published 1:45 pm Friday, October 7, 2016

11 p.m. Friday

With the eye just off the coast of Georgia, Hurricane Matthew continues its track northward at 12 mph, with maximum sustained winds clocked at 105 mph.

The Category 2 storm is set to hit North Carolina on Saturday evening, potentially dumping 10 inches or more of rain, especially on the south side of Beaufort County. The area remains under a flash flood advisory and tropical storm warning.

Beaufort County is also expected to experience tropical storm-force winds through the weekend.

The state Ferry Division suspended all routes to and from Ocracoke Island as of Friday afternoon.

Weather officials are also expecting storm surges of 2-4 feet in Beaufort County, along with flooding in low-lying areas. Hazardous conditions could begin as early as Saturday morning, so residents are asked to remain vigilant and take safety precautions as well as stay off the roads.

After Gov. Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency Monday, his office also requested a federal disaster designation for 66 counties in eastern and central North Carolina. FEMA approved the request, opening the door to federal assistance if needed.


7 p.m. Friday

Hurricane Matthew is passing over the northeastern coast of Florida, moving into Georgia and South Carolina.

It is expected to pass by eastern North Carolina on Saturday night.

Matthew weakened to a Category 2 storm Friday afternoon. All of eastern North Carolina, including Beaufort County, remains under at least a tropical storm warning.

Heavy rain is likely to begin in the early-morning hours of Saturday.

Officials are warning residents about the dangers of flash flooding, as well as urging property owners to prepare for rising water and storm surges.


1 p.m. Friday

Beaufort County is now under a tropical storm warning.

Over the course of Thursday night, Hurricane Matthew trended toward a more northern turnaround spot, cutting across part of North Carolina’s coast before turning away.

After slamming into Florida, Matthew has downgraded to a Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.

John Pack, director of Beaufort County Emergency Management, said the main concern is still heavy rains, with the latest estimates showing more than 8 inches falling in the area, as well as the subsequent flooding. There is also a high probability the county will experience tropical storm-force winds.

Emergency officials are especially concerned about the county’s lowest-lying areas, including Belhaven, Aurora and Pamlico Beach. Downed trees and power outages are possible in all areas.

Shelters will open tomorrow at 10 a.m., according to Pack, and will be located at P.S. Jones Middle School and Southside High School.

“For those in need of transportation to the shelters, buses will be available for (pickup) between the hours of 8:00 and 10:00 am from the Food Lion parking lot in Belhaven and the Piggly Wiggly parking lot in Aurora,” a press release stated. “All shelter residents should report to the shelter with a bedroll or sleeping bag, pillow, towel, medications and personal care items. Residents with special needs should arrive at the shelter with a relative or person who is capable of providing for their care for the duration of their stay.”


8 a.m. Friday

Beaufort County Schools is closed today due to flooding concerns. It is an optional teacher workday. Beaufort County Community College is also set to close early at noon.