According to the Monday morning briefing there have been a few changes from the earlier update. The storm continues to move up the coast and is still expected to gain speed as it moves north. The official forecast calls for the storm to make landfall south of Wilmington, possibly in the area of the South Carolina/North Carolina border.
With a Tropical Storm Warning now in effect for our area, there is now the potential for strong tropical storm force winds with damage to roofing and siding, downed trees, and power outages. We can expect major beach erosion with heavy surf breaching dunes, moderate damage to docks and piers, and areas of inundation with the likelihood of moderate flooding rain.
In addition to the increased danger of rip currents for the next several days, one of the main threats from this storm remains the possibility of tornados forming ahead of the storm, and away from its center. The majority of tornado related deaths in North Carolina occur when a tornado strikes while people are sleeping; please be sure to activate any devices you may have to receive broadcasts of any warnings. Likewise, the majority of flood related deaths occur in vehicles; if you find yourself out in the storm do not attempt to drive through standing water – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.
The storm is still expected to be fast moving, and impacts to North Topsail Beach will be felt Monday night into Tuesday morning. Inland, minor river flooding of the Neuse, Tar, and NE Cape Fear rivers can be expected later in the week.
AT THIS TIME forecasts are calling for Maximum Sustained Winds in our area at 59 mph, with maximum gusts of 75 mph. Rainfall is estimated at 1.5 - 2”, and a surge of 2-4’ can be expected. Flash flooding is a danger to the west of Rt 17. Please note that with sustained winds of 45 mph both North Topsail Beach and Surf City will close the bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway. While the forecast shows the center of the storm tracking to the west of North Topsail Beach, it should be noted that even a slight change in the storm track could change impacts dramatically. Please continue to prepare and monitor local news and weather outlets.