At 5 p.m. this evening, the National
Hurricane Center extended its tropical storm warning to include a
large chunk of the southeast Atlantic coast of the U.S. -- from
northern Florida to Duck-- including the Albemarle and Pamlico
And the local National Weather Service
office in Newport/Morehead City warned that coastal North Carolina
can expect heavy rain, flash flooding, at least minimal tropical
storm winds, some coastal flooding and beach erosion, and a threat of
we were fortunate with Tropical Depression 8 passing off the coast
earlier this week," Dare County said in a news release, "Hermine
will bring impacts as the storm approaches."
County has issued a mandatory evacuation for all visitors from
this time, we do not anticipate an (Emergency Operations
Center)activation," said Drew Pearson, director of Dare County
Emergency Management. "All Dare County public safety
agencies are taking action to ensure we are ready for the winds, rain
and ocean conditions expected to arrive tomorrow and be with us until
The Hurricane Center said that at 5
p.m., the center of Hurricane Hermine was located in the Gulf of
Mexico about 85 miles south of Apalachicola, Fla. -- about 720 miles
southwest of Buxton -- and was moving north-northwest near 14 miles
per hour. On its current track, the hurricane is expected to make
landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida late tonight or early Friday
Maximum sustained winds were near 75
mph with higher gusts. Some slight additional strengthening is
forecast before landfall. Weakening will begin after Hermine crosses
After Hermine makes landfall, the storm
is forecast to move northeast just inland from the coast through
Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina -- heading back over the
open water on Saturday afternoon near the North Carolina-Virginia
"Do not focus on the center
track," the local National Weather Service office in
Newport/Morehead City, said in its morning briefing. "The
entire area will experience minor to some moderate impacts from
Hermine. Minor track changes will result in very different impacts
for specific locations, especially regarding potential storm surge."
Rainfall could begin as early as
tonight with a cold front approaching from the northeast that will
stall over the North Carolina coast.
Rainfall from the tropical system will
begin on Friday and continue into the day on Saturday, ending
sometime Saturday evening. Widespread 5- to 8-inch rainfall amounts
are forecast with possible isolated amounts to 10 inches. A flash
flood watch is in effect until 8 p.m. on Saturday.
There is also a threat of isolated
tornadoes for the area. The most likely time for tornadoes, the
Weather Service says, will be Friday night into early Saturday
morning, and a tornado watch could be issued on Friday.
At least minimal tropical storm force
winds of 40 mph are possible across the entire area. Along the coast,
winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts to 55 mph or 60 are possible. The
strongest sustained winds will be Friday night through Saturday,
lingering into early Saturday night across the Outer Banks.
"It's not the sustained winds we
are worried about," said NWS meteorologist David Glenn. "It's
Seas are forecast to peak as high as 15
to 20 feet, bringing the threat of coastal flooding and beach
Forecasters say all coastal areas along
the sounds and ocean are at risk of at least minor soundside flooding
of up to a foot above ground in low lying areas. Some areas may
receive moderate storm surge flooding of up to 3 feet above ground,
but the Weather Service says, "given track uncertainties, it is
too early to identify specific areas at the greatest risk. Minor
track changes will significantly affect which areas receive the
There will also be water level rises on
the ocean side with large waves, resulting in at least minor beach
erosion. Some spots could receive moderate erosion and overwash.
A high risk of rip currents will
continue through the weekend, and dangerous shore break remains a
concern south of Cape Hatteras.
Hermine may slow and stall off the
Delmarva peninsula, Glenn said, and if that happens, the Outer Banks
could see lingering northerly winds, large swell, and wave run-up and
beach erosion issues into early next week.
Click here for the latest local NWS briefing on Tropical Storm Hermine.
N.C. FERRY DIVISION
Hermine approaches, the N.C. Department of Transportation's Ferry
Division is assisting with the evacuation of non-residents from
Ocracoke Island. Hyde County issued a mandatory evacuation order for
island visitors on Thursday afternoon.
homeowners, or vendors with an Ocracoke re-entry sticker on their
vehicles will be allowed on ferries inbound to Ocracoke. Priority
boarding has been suspended for all vessels leaving Ocracoke, and
tolls have been waived for ferries heading from Ocracoke to Cedar
Island or Swan Quarter.
encourage all visitors on the island to calmly evacuate Ocracoke as
soon as possible," said Ferry Division Directory Ed Goodwin. "We
will be running as many boats as we can on the Hatteras route tonight
and tomorrow until conditions are no longer safe for our passengers
our top concern," continued Goodwin. "If weather conditions
deteriorate, we may have to suspend service."
procedures will remain in effect for all Ocracoke-bound ferries until
Hyde County emergency officials lift the evacuation order.
Hermine is expected to impact Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort
Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial
tomorrow evening through Saturday evening.
officials closed the Ocracoke campground and visitor services on the
island at 5 p.m. today after Hyde County declared a mandatory
evacuation for visitors.
There will be a high risk of rip currents along all Cape Hatteras
National Seashore beaches. Swimming is not advisable under these
conditions. Even under moderate risk of rip current conditions there
have been three rip current related fatalities off Seashore beaches
this summer, so swimming is strongly discouraged. For more
information on rip currents safety go to
Park staff will continue to advise campers at Oregon Inlet, Frisco,
and Cape Point campgrounds of the inbound weather conditions. Camping
in tents and recreational vehicles under tropical storm force
conditions is not recommended. All seashore campgrounds will operate
on a one-day availability basis.
Conditions: If you are planning to drive on Highway 12 on
Hatteras Island, please be advised that you may encounter flooded and
sand-covered road conditions from rainfall, ocean overwash, and wind.
Go to https://www.facebook.com/NCDOTNC12
for current NC 12 conditions.
Ramps: Visitors should review signs posted at the beach
access ramps and use best judgment. Many beaches are likely to become
impassable during both high and low tide conditions. When conditions
allow for it, resource management staff may need to close portions of
the beach in advance of the storm and after the storm while they
monitor sea turtle nests and implement appropriate nest protections.
Daily beach access ramp status updates are available on the Cape
Hatteras National Seashore Facebook Page at
Visitor services, including the opening of visitor centers, may be
suspended or delayed during or immediately following the storm. In
the event that visitor services need to be altered due to Tropical
Storm Hermine, notifications will be made through social media. The
social media links are listed below.
Hatteras National Seashore
Raleigh National Historic Site
Brothers National Memorial
Track of Hermine shifts back toward Outer Banks
Second tropical system in a week forecast for Hatteras, Ocracoke