Ophelia knocks power, floods streets in NC

At least 50,000 homes and businesses are without power, and coastal roads are underwater in North Carolina - but Hurricane Ophelia has yet to hit land.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 14, 2005


At least 50,000 homes and businesses are without power, and coastal roads are underwater in North Carolina - but Hurricane Ophelia has yet to hit land.

The storm threatens to drop 15 inches of rain in the eastern part of the state, with the biggest risk for storm surge flooding in rivers and sounds.

Hurricane warnings have shifted northward, covering the entire North Carolina coast from the South Carolina line to Virginia, where a tropical storm warning was issued for the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Landfall is now expected late Wednesday somewhere along North Carolina's southeast coast.

In a press conference, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley told residents in many flood-prone counties to heed mandatory evacuation orders. Brunswick County has already measured 6.5 inches of rain, while Onslow County had more than 200 people in shelters. Across the state, more than 1,000 people had evacuated to shelters.

"We have a concern that people in flood-prone areas need to get out," Easley said. "We're asking and begging them to do that because it's going to be hard to get them out later."

Flooding, he added, will be "worse than anticipated yesterday."

"Once the high winds come, we cannot get in and get you out," he said. "We cannot get there by boat or helicopter or by plane. There are 61 shelters open. There is no reason for someone not to evacuate if they have been asked to do so."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had at least 200 personnel on the ground in preparation for Ophelia.

The storm had sustained winds of 85-mph Wednesday afternoon, up from 75-mph early Wednesday morning.


Related Topics:

Will storms change climate debate?

Mental health often overlooked

Why did so much rain fall?


More links on Hurricanes

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: