Hurricane watch issued for eastern North Carolina

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A hurricane watch has been issued for all of eastern North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence is forecasted to make landfall between North Topsail Beach and Morehead City late Thursday night to early Friday morning. The National Weather Service is expecting the extreme wind and storm surge throughout the region.

Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. update.

Florence’s maximum sustained winds remain at 140 mph. NWS warns that winds could have devastating impact, especially along the coast. Residents can expect:

  • structural damage to some sturdy buildings, some with complete roof and wall failure;
  • widespread power and communications outages;
  • roads impassable from large debris;
  • numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over.

Maximum rainfall amounts of 15- to 20-inches-plus are possible. Currently, Beaufort County rainfall totals are predicted at 10 to 15 inches. Flash flooding will occur during the storm with major river flooding possible for days to weeks

All preparations for Florence should be completed by Wednesday evening. Tropical storm force winds could arrive as early as Wednesday night.

A state of emergency was declared by Beaufort County Board of Commissioners on Monday night. Beaufort County Emergency Services issued a voluntary evacuation on Monday, encouraging any occupant of Beaufort County to seek shelter away from the path of Hurricane Florence.

Find hurricane preparation information here.