Dare County under Tropical Storm Watch; rain, wind and storm surge expected

Published 11:37 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Dare County due to expected impacts from Hurricane Idalia, which is forecast to move off the East Coast into the Atlantic Ocean after making landfall in Florida as a major hurricane on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

A Tropical Storm Watch indicates that tropical storm conditions – including sustained winds of 39 mph to 73 mph – are possible within 48 hours.

As of Tuesday, August 29, 2023, the National Weather Service is forecasting significant rain, high winds and minor storm surge inundation (up to 2 feet above ground in low-lying areas) for the area. There is also a potential for tornadoes, ocean overwash and moderate beach erosion. Based on the current forecast track for Hurricane Idalia, most of these conditions will impact Hatteras Island.

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“For those who are staying or living at an oceanfront or soundfront location, be prepared to protect your property,” stated a Dare County press release. “Storm surge can quickly inundate places where vehicles and other personal property are normally parked or stored. Take the time now to find a higher spot for your vehicles and property to keep them from being damaged.”

According to the National Weather Service at Newport/Morehead City, an average of 4-8 inches of rainfall is expected with locally higher amounts of rainfall possible across the area. Rainfall from this storm may lead to flash flooding which could impact travel. “Always remember to turn around, don’t drown should you encounter flooded streets,” noted the release.

Impacts from Hurricane Idalia are anticipated to begin late Wednesday, August 30, 2023 into Thursday, August 31 and are expected to persist through Friday, September 1, 2023.

Strong winds and rough surf will also result in an increased risk of strong rip currents. Even the most experienced swimmers are advised to stay out of the ocean due to the dangerous surf conditions that are occurring and will persist into the holiday weekend at all Dare County beaches.