GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for select counties in Eastern NC through Thursday evening. While Idalia’s wind strength has waned to the point it is now a tropical storm, this was expected. Our threats and forecast are still the same.
Idalia made landfall at Keaton Beach around 7:45 a.m. today as a category 3 hurricane. The last time the Big Bend had a hurricane landfall was from Hurricane Easy in 1950.
As of 11 PM, Idalia had sustained winds of 60 mph and gusts of 70 mph. The strongest winds are around what’s left of the eye. Winds further out are much weaker. Idalia is moving quickly northeast at 21 mph. While expected to stay a tropical storm as it moves back over open water, we’ll have to watch and see if it tries to strengthen again.
Light rain continues until heavier rain arrives later this evening. The wind will take longer to arrive. In fact, most may go to bed with little to no wind. The heaviest of the wind and rain comes between midnight and noon. Heavy rain and wind will likely linger longer across the Outer Banks until Thursday evening. Rain pulls away Thursday afternoon but strong, potentially damaging northerly wind gusts stick around.
As far as impacts from Idalia, we’re expecting up to 4-8″ along the Crystal Coast from Surf City northward to Hatteras. Spots inland could see 2-4″ and we’re expecting a sharp drop-off as you head west of I-95 or north near the state line. Sustained winds could reach 20-30 mph inland with gusts up to 40 mph. Coastal communities should expect 30-40 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 50 mph along the coast. Flash flooding is the main threat but isolated power outages or downed trees are possible too. The threat of a tornado will be focused along the Crystal Coast, specifically from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout. There is a chance sound side flooding on Ocracoke between 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. Low tide for Ocracoke is about 2:45 p.m. with high tide coming around 8:50 p.m. While the wind speeds will be peaking over the Pamlico Sound around low tide, enough wind could linger to create hazardous flooding across the island as the later high tide arrives.
Stay with WITN and WITN.COM as we continue to track Franklin and Idalia throughout the week.