Tropical Storm Ophelia updates: Rainy weather makes way up East Coast bringing flooding and killing power in New Jersey and New York after hitting North Carolina

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Rainy weather has made its way up the East Coast Sunday, bringing flooding and killing power in New Jersey after Tropical Storm Ophelia battered North Carolina.  

In the Tri-State area, people will face the brunt of lingering, miserable weather for much of Sunday as the post-tropical storm moves past. There is still a risk of coastal flooding and heavy, persistent rain – from DC to NYC on Sunday. 

Yesterday, the National Hurricane Center reported just after 6:20am, the storm had made landfall near Emerald Isle, North Carolina. The storm had maximum winds reaching 70mph, with sustained winds of 61mph.

A tropical storm warning was issued from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to Fenwick Island, Delaware. A hurricane watch was also in effect in North Carolina for the area north of Surf City to Ocracoke Inlet.

In New Jersey today, winds and the deluge have been causing disruption, and waves near the shore have been recorded as reaching up to 10 feet high. 

At the Cleveland Park Metro Station in Washington, DC, officials are anticipating flooding and have sandbagged the vicinity, as well as other flood-prone stations. 

New York City locals woke up to torrential rain and strong winds Sunday, with drizzly weather expected to continue into the beginning of the new week as the city reels from the final effects of Ophelia. 

Global Citizen Festival, held in Central Park, continued on despite the wet weather on Saturday evening – as festivalgoers in the Big Apple braved the torrent to watch big names like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lauryn Hill.  

Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center Philippe Papin said on Sunday: ‘There have been tropical-storm-force winds observed, but those are starting to gradually subside as the system moves further inland.

‘However, there is a significant flooding rainfall threat for a large portion of eastern North Carolina into southern Virginia over the next 12 to 24 hours.’

NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said: ‘New Yorkers should take precautions regarding the forecast for high winds and rain during our first fall weekend.

‘This weekend’s weather is also a reminder that we are still in the middle of Atlantic Hurricane season and it is a great time to review your preparedness plan for your home or business, especially if you live in flood-prone areas.’ 

Footage showed the destruction caused in Greenville and Washington, North Carolina, Sunday morning after the storm brought heavy rain and major flooding.

Roads and streets were submerged, with cars unable to pass through the floodwater. 

Rescue teams with small boats made their way through the water to bring people trapped in cars and houses to safety.    

On Sunday morning, 2,600 people were without power in North Carolina, and 5,800 were blacked out in New Jersey.

During the intense deluge on Saturday, there were over 52,000 people in North Carolina and Virginia without power – but the majority have now been restored.  

The National Hurricane Center said in a morning update there will be a gradual weakening during the next 48 hours as the low center moves slowly offshore.

Water levels remain elevated within portions of Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers – but should gradually recede through today, experts said.

Throughout Sunday, portions of the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England will experience up to three inches of rainfall. 

According to the NHC: ‘This rainfall may produce localized flash, urban, and small stream flooding impacts across portions of the Mid-Atlantic region into southern New England. 

‘Isolated river flooding is possible in areas of heavier rainfall.

‘Swells generated by Ophelia will continue to affect much of the east coast of the United States through today. 

‘These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.’

On Saturday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued his state’s emergency declaration, aiming to expedite preparations and help provide a swift response.

‘The storm’s path has been difficult to predict and we want to ensure that farmers, first responders and utility crews have the tools necessary to prepare for severe weather,’ the governor said. 

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order sought to ease response and recovery efforts.

‘We want to ensure that all communities, particularly those with the greatest anticipated impact, have the resources they need to respond and recover from the effects of this storm,’ Youngkin noted. 

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said in a statement on Friday evening that the state expected an extended period of strong winds, heavy rainfall and elevated tides.

In Annapolis, Maryland’s capital, water taxi driver Scott Bierman said service would be closed Saturday.

‘We don’t operate when it´s going to endanger passengers and or damage vessels,’ Bierman said.

In Washington, the Nationals baseball team postponed its Saturday game until Sunday.

It is not uncommon for one or two tropical storms, or even hurricanes, to form off the East Coast each year, National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan said.

‘We’re right at the peak of hurricane season, we can basically have storms form anywhere across much of the Atlantic basin,’ Brennan said.

Source: Mail Online