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Michael to bring rain, wind

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From staff reports

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Albemarle could see both heavy rain and strong winds from Tropical Storm Michael starting Thursday morning.

Although Michael has lost some of its power since coming ashore in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane, the Category 3 storm was still packing maximum sustained winds of 125 mph as it approached an area Wednesday afternoon where Florida, Alabama and Georgia meet.

As of 5 p.m., Michael was located 30 miles west of Bainbridge, Georgia, and 70 miles southwest of Albany, Georgia. It was moving north-northeast at 16 mph.

Christy Saunders, Pasquotank-Camden emergency management coordinator, said Wednesday that Michael is expected to cross North Carolina today as a tropical storm.

Anticipating the storm’s arrival, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday for 66 counties in North Carolina expected to receive both rain and wind from Michael.

A number of area school districts have already announced early closing times on Thursday and delayed openings on Friday because of the storm.

Both the Perquimans County Schools and the Edenton-Chowan Schools plan to close school campuses Thursday at 1 p.m.

The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools plans to operate on a regular schedule Thursday but will open on Friday after a one-hour delay. The delayed opening affects both school staff and students, the district said. All after-school activities, including the after-school care program, scheduled for Thursday have been canceled.

According to the forecast from the National Weather Service, area counties should begin seeing rainfall from Michael starting Thursday morning and continuing throughout the day and into the night before ending Friday morning. A majority of the rain will fall between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. on Friday. Total rainfall accumulation for the Pasquotank-Camden area, according to the latest forecast, is expected to be 3-5 inches.

The weather service has issued a flash flood watch and a high wind warning for northeastern North Carolina, both of which take effect Thursday. The flash flood watch took effect at 8 a.m. and continues through 8 a.m. on Friday. The high wind warning takes effect at 6 p.m. Thursday and continues through Friday at noon.

Flooding of streams, creeks, ditches and streets is expected during the storm. Winds of 25-35 mph from the southeast are expected Thursday evening. Those winds will shift to the north and northwest Thursday into Friday morning. Wind gusts of 50-60 mph are possible

The region will also be at risk of severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes during the storm.

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