Hurricane Ophelia continues to weaken as it moves toward the East Coast, bringing heavy rain from North Carolina to New Jersey


Ophelia, now a post-tropical cyclone, is weakening as it moves toward the mid-Atlantic on Sunday, putting nearly nine million people from Long Island to southern Maryland under coastal flood alerts.

Areas from eastern Pennsylvania south to Long Island could see heavy rainfall Sunday, potentially causing flash flooding. The National Weather Service warned that flooding could be so severe that roads could be closed and homes and businesses could be at risk in some areas.

Forecasters said heavy rain will shift from the northeast to New England and parts of the northern mid-Atlantic on Sunday as weak Ophelia continues its journey up the East Coast.

“The associated heavy rainfall will cause flash flooding in mainly localized areas, with urban areas, roads and small rivers most vulnerable,” the weather forecasting center said.

New York City issued a travel advisory through Sunday, warning of a “prolonged rainfall event.”

“While the warm summer days are behind us, New Yorkers should take precautions regarding the forecast of high winds and rain during our first fall weekend,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol.

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New Yorkers living in basement apartments in flooded areas were asked to prepare to move to higher ground and avoid driving on flooded roads or entering flooded subway stations.

Coastal flood warnings were also issued Saturday for communities in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where flooding caused several road closures.

“With high tides right now on the Atlantic Coast, we are getting multiple reports of flooding and road closures from coastal communities,” the weather service office in Mount Holly, Texas, posted on Twitter.

Ophelia was a tropical storm approaching hurricane intensity when it approached the Emerald Isle, North Carolina, early Saturday morning, causing power outages, flooding coastal roads and forced rescue operations. States of emergency were declared in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

The storm weakened throughout the day and disintegrated into a post-tropical low by Saturday night, with little change in strength forecast over the next few days.

Now, with sustained winds of 35 mph, Ophelia is expected to continue moving over southeastern Virginia and then the Delmarva Peninsula on Sunday, before dissipating on Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

For now, Ophelia’s major threats include:

  • Hazardous sea conditions: The hurricane center said the waves “could pose a threat to life and destroy current conditions”. The center said these conditions will affect much of the East Coast throughout the weekend.
  • Heavy rain: Parts of the mid-Atlantic from north central North Carolina to New Jersey may see 1 to 3 inches of rain, with some areas receiving up to 5 inches. Southern New England through Southeastern New York may also receive about 1 to 3 inches of rain.
  • flood: The Weather Prediction Center is warning of a slight risk of extreme rainfall across parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic and southern New England from Sunday through Monday morning. “The associated heavy rainfall will cause flash flooding in mainly localized areas, with urban areas, roads and small rivers most vulnerable,” the weather service said.

As Ophelia began to make landfall in North Carolina, the storm surge pounded the state’s coastal areas and entrances overnight, with winds peaking at 73 mph at Cape Lookout along the state’s outer coasts.

Five people, including three children, were rescued from a sailing vessel anchored off Lookout Bight on Friday, officials said.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the group encountered 35 to 40 mph winds and 6-foot to 8-foot seas.

“The owner of the vessel did not feel comfortable in the channel and requested to be rescued,” the coast guard said. No one was injured.

Meanwhile, some areas were grappling with the unusual surge of water caused by the storm.

J. David Eke/AP

Tidal basins in Washington filled to the brim on Saturday due to rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia.

Washington, North Carolina residents were warned to “avoid the downtown area” on Saturday as a storm surge of about 3 to 4 feet from Ophelia flooded the city’s Boardwalk area, according to a city Facebook post. It has been written.

In New Bern, located along two rivers in North Carolina about 120 miles east of Raleigh, streets were flooded and water entered the city’s downtown as water levels rose, city officials said on Facebook. Went. Pictures posted on the city’s social media pages showed a children’s park flooded and ducks swimming in flooded streets.

Emergency crews in New Bern have set up barricades in flooded areas of the city, including Union Point Park, which “looks like a lake,” city officials said Saturday morning.

At one point Saturday, about 70,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia were without power as winds lashed the coast. Many of those customers had power restored by the end of the day, according to

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