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Increased swells, rip currents from Hurricane Isaias expected to begin Friday for Outer Banks

The National Weather Service warns increased swells from Hurricane Isaias and high rip current risk will arrive late Friday afternoon and will continue through early next week. Very dangerous swimming conditions are forecast.

Uncertainty exists as to timing and intensity of this storm system.

Currently, the storm is a Category 1 Hurricane. The National Weather Service predicts sustained wind speeds of 74 miles per hour along the Outer Banks and tropical storm force winds inland. The threshold wind speed for a category 1 is 74 miles per hour. Gusts to 91 miles per hour are predicted.

In a Friday morning briefing, Eric Heden with the National Weather Service in Morehead City said Hurricane Isaias “should be a fast mover.”

The current forecast track shows winds ramping up Monday afternoon and hitting peak sustained speeds Monday night between 10 and midnight and then quickly falling off.

Current rainfall predictions show up to one and one-half inches of rain along the Outer Banks and up to three inches inland.

North Carolina’s state emergency management director Mike Sprayberry said at a news conference July 30: “At four days out, impacts to the State are still unclear and much could change but if you reside in eastern NC, make no mistake, you must be ready. People living in areas prone to hurricane-caused flooding, should make a plan to stay with family or friends, or at a hotel, if they have to evacuate. Staying at a shelter will not be a good primary option during the pandemic and should only be a last resort. We are encouraging those living in a safe place inland to offer to let family or friends evacuate to their home. Non-congregate sheltering options like hotels and dormitories are preferred this year, but not guaranteed.”

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