Tropical Storm Ophelia forecast to make landfall in North Carolina, state of emergency declared

Several states are hunkering down as Tropical Storm Ophelia barrels towards the East Coast, where it is expected to make landfall on Saturday with “life-threatening” storm surge, heavy rains and fierce winds.

Upgraded to tropical storm status on Friday, Ophelia is expected to make landfall in North Carolina before turning north, battering the coast with 50-70 mph winds.

More than 7 million people are under some kind of tropical weather alert from the Tarheel State to the Delmarva Peninsula, Fox Weather reported.

So far, the governors of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

Impacts from Ophelia could be felt in the Outer Banks on Friday, as the storm was 90 miles south of Cape Hatteras and heading north-northwest at around 12 mph.

Tropical Storm Ophelia
Ophelia was upgraded to a tropical storm on Friday.
FOX Weather

Waves break along the jetty at Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach, Va.
Waves break along the jetty at Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach ahead of Ophelia’s landfall.

The highest storm surge levels are anticipated in North Carolina.

“The water [in eastern North Carolina] may rise as high as 6 feet above normally dry ground,” Fox News Meteorologist Greg Diamond told The Post. “Up to 4 feet of storm surge may impact the Outer Banks up into Chesapeake Bay.”

“Major flooding is expected all along the Virginia and Maryland shores of Chesapeake Bay with the overnight high tide tonight,” which is between 3 and 5 a.m., Diamond said.  “These water levels could be life-threatening and will be the worst hazard from this storm. We expect numerous roads and structures to flood.”

Tropical Storm Ophelia
The storm will bring heavy winds and a potentially life-threatening storm surge to the East Coast.
FOX Weather

coastal flood alert map
The storm is expected to move out of the Tri-state area by Monday.
FOX Weather

Rain could also devastate communities inland, with 3-5 inches expected along the I-95 corridor from North Carolina up through Connecticut and Rhode Island, with some isolated totals as high as 7 inches possible.

“This will lead to flash flooding in some places, especially right along the coast,” Diamond said.

In the Tri-state area, rain will continue into Sunday, with up to 5 inches possibly falling along the Jersey Shore, where winds gusts could approach 60 mph, he said.

In places like Washington DC, coastal flood advisories are in effect until Saturday morning.

Ophelia will quickly weaken on Sunday and rain across the Tri-state area and southern New England will come to an end on Monday, Diamond said.

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