Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall at 6:15 this morning near Emerald Isle with maximum sustained winds of 70mph. While the storm's winds have steadily weakened throughout the day, periods of heavy rain, gusty winds, and coastal flooding will likely continue across portions of the state through the evening hours before diminishing tonight as Ophelia moves north of the region. Heavy rain and storm surge have resulted in flooding across central and eastern portions of NC, as well as ponding on many roadways.
As Tropical Storm Ophelia makes its way north there are reports of downed trees across central and eastern North Carolina impacting roadways and downing some powerlines. Current reports show approximately 30,000 scattered power outages, which is down from more than 50,000 outages this morning.
“We encourage everyone living and visiting the areas impacted by Ophelia to remain vigilant,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Water levels could remain elevated through this evening for areas adjacent to the Pamlico, Neuse, Pungo and Bay rivers and farther north along the northern Albemarle Sound and soundside Outer Banks. We are grateful to all of the first responders and others who are responding to this storm.”
“In an abundance of caution, swiftwater rescue teams were staged in areas around eastern North Carolina in case rescues were needed. This included Morehead City, Bayboro, and Williamston. One of the teams was also able to assist in the evacuation of the Twin Lakes Campground, located between the Pamlico River and the Chocowinity Bay,” said Will Ray, North Carolina Emergency Management director. “We are committed to providing the resources needed to support our county partners and we will continue to work with them as we move forward into the recovery phase of this storm.”
Many counties in the eastern part of the state continue to monitor the tropical storm and are working diligently to address the needs of their communities quickly. Several communities have states of emergencies in place and active emergency operations centers with ongoing response.
Yesterday, N.C. Governor Roy Cooper signed a State of Emergency, which temporarily waives transportation regulations pertaining to the movement of livestock and agricultural products. Additionally, the Order issues transportation waivers to expedite preparations in anticipation of the storm and provide for swift response and recovery after the system passes if needed.