Hurricane closing in

At least six North Carolina counties ordered mandatory evacuations as Hurricane Ophelia was on the verge of washing ashore in southeastern North Carolina.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 13, 2005


At least six North Carolina counties ordered mandatory evacuations as Hurricane Ophelia was on the verge of washing ashore in southeastern North Carolina.

The stormís outer bands were hitting North Carolina's coastline between Charleston and Wilmington on Tuesday evening, and most tracks showed the storm running along the coast, then veering through Pamlico Sound, crossing the Outer Banks and heading back out to sea. Wilmington will see hurricane-force winds early Wednesday, said forecasters.

The biggest concern was the stormís slow movement, which could intensify rainfall and cause flooding. Up to 15 inches of rain was possible in eastern North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At least six North Carolina counties ordered mandatory evacuations of some vulnerable areas, and seven others had voluntary evacuations.

National Guard troops were on duty in parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, was a Category 1 hurricane with additional strengthening possible before landfall, forecasters said.

A hurricane warning was posted from the South Santee River in South Carolina north to Oregon Inlet at Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.

Heavy rain has already been hitting South Carolina's northern coast and the beaches of southeastern North Carolina, as the storm stalled just offshore.


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