US East Coast hit by TS Ophelia

The threat of substantive damage as a result of storm surge for states along the US eastern seaboard was raised again over the weekend as Tropical Storm Ophelia came ashore on Saturday 23 September along the Atlantic Coast.

The storm doused the region with torrential downpours and unrelenting winds that caused flooding and widespread power outages.

Nearly eight million people across the Mid-Atlantic – from New York to South Carolina – were under tropical storm, storm surge and flooding warnings as of midday on Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

After making landfall near Emerald Isle, North Carolina around 6:15 a.m. EDT (10:15 UTC), Ophelia was moving inland on a northerly path as it dumped heavy downpours and whipped strong winds in its wake.

Some spots could see up to 10 inches (25 cm) of rain and winds of more than 50 miles (80 km) per hour that combined were producing storm surge flooding in parts of North Carolina, the service said.

One of the hardest hit communities is understood to be Washington, North Carolina, where video footage on social media showed flood waters reaching homes and partly submerging vehicles in parts of the town that sis on the banks of the Pamlico River.

In Virginia, the state’s department of emergency management said in a X post that its crews were staged across the commonwealth, ready to conduct any needed swift water rescues and debris removal.

According to a public advisory issued by the NHC on 24 September, At 1100 PM HST (0900 UTC), the centre of Tropical Depression

Fourteen-E was located near latitude 14.3 North, longitude 122.4 West. The depression is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h), and a generally westward motion at a little faster forward speed is expected for the next few days.

It added that maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts.  Slight intensification is forecast, and the system is likely to become a tropical storm on Sunday.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).