Region to get brush from Maria


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Albemarle apparently will receive a brush from Hurricane Maria, primarily in the form of rip currents off the Currituck Outer Banks and wind gusts and rain in other parts of the region.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami has issued a tropical storm warning from Cape Lookout north up the coast to the Virginia line for the storm that is expected to pass well offshore. A tropical storm watch, meanwhile, was in effect for Pasquotank, Camden and Currituck counties.

Meterologist Mike Montefusco, of the National Weather Service at Wakefield, Va., said Monday the primary impact from the storm will be some minor tidal flooding in coastal areas.

Montefusco noted that rip currents are likely to be high on the Currituck Outer Banks through the end of the week.

“We're looking for a high threat for those rip currents,” he said.

Currituck County Fire-EMS Chief Chip Melton said officials aren’t anticipating any major impacts from the storm. 

“We're expecting some erosion (on the beaches) and possibly some gusty winds, but, no, we're not expecting anything too significant beyond that,” he said.

Melton noted that Currituck beaches are red-flagged, meaning there’s “definitely no swimming.” He also advised boaters not to venture out into the Atlantic for the immediate time being.

Pasquotank-Camden-Elizabeth City Emergency Management Coordinator Christy Saunders said she believes Maria's impact on the Elizabeth City area will be minimal.

“We could get some higher peaks of wind and gusts, but this storm is diminishing,” Saunders said. “It's still a little ways away, so things are subject to change, but as things are moving along, it's actually looking better for us all the time.”

At the same time, Saunders urged residents to expect wind gusts. 

The National Weather Service forecast for Elizabeth City for Tuesday calls for breezy conditions, with a northeast wind of 17-22 mph and gusts as high as 32 mph. The chance of rain will be 40 percent, with cloudy skies and a high near 81 degrees.

The temperature will dip to approximately 71 Tuesday evening, with continuing breezy conditions and north of wind of approximately 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. The chance of rain will continue to be 40 percent.