Tropical Storm Michael, formerly Hurricane Michael, which bashed the Florida panhandle as one of the worst storms to ever hit the U.S. in recorded history, continues working through North Carolina on a dangerous path leading to Virginia. Both states face extreme flooding risk and damaging winds before Michael exits into the Atlantic on Friday. Heavy rains from Michael Thursday night extend to Washington, D.C.
“Gale- to storm-force winds are expected over portions of the Mid-Atlantic coast as Michael exits the U.S. east coast and becomes post-tropical,” the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday. “Non-tropical high wind watches, warnings, and advisories have been issued by local NWS offices for wind hazards in these areas north of Duck, North Carolina.”
North Carolina was already flood-sensitive with creeks and rivers at a high stage after Hurricane Florence hit there several weeks ago. Michael is also pouring flash flooding rains as it passes through North Carolina today and multiple warnings have emerged as a result. According to weather.com, these North Carolina and Virginia flash flooding warnings have been issued Thursday:
The timing of Tropical Storm Michael’s threat for North Carolina and southern Virginia is that the storm will continue tracking through those states tonight, moving closer to the Atlantic Friday morning. The center of Michael “will continue to accelerate to the east-northeast through Thursday night across North Carolina into southeast Virginia, then move off the East Coast out to sea by Friday as a post-tropical low,” according to weather.com.
“Life-threatening flash flooding is occurring over portions of North Carolina and southern Virginia and will continue through the evening,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Damaging winds are spreading eastward across portions of central and eastern North Carolina, and will continue through this evening. These winds have the potential to cause tree and structural damage. Strong winds are also expected over portions of southeastern Virginia and the Virginia Eastern Shore tonight as Michael becomes post-tropical.”
In South Carolina Thursday, flooding was reported on Interstate 26 and the Interstate 126 interchange on the northwest side of Columbia, according to The Weather Channel. By late Thursday afternoon and into the evening Tropical Storm Michael was hitting North Carolina hard with winds and flooding rains, which extended into Virginia toward Washington, D.C.
“It should also be noted that an area of damaging wind gusts of up to 50 kt has developed around the northwest side of the circulation over central North Carolina and Virginia this afternoon,” the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday. “As a result, the gust factor has been increased in this advisory, as this area of strong winds will spread northward and eastward across portions of eastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina this evening and tonight.”