NEW BERN, Craven County — Hurricane Dorian is at a category two over the Atlantic, moving northeast at 10 mph with wind speeds up to 100 mph.
Chief Meteorologist Donnie Cox says the eye of the storm is deteriorating and will be parallel to our area at high tide on Friday at approximately 3:00 a.m.
Cox says it’s possible that Dorian could make landfall near Cape Lookout.
With Dorian expected to arrive now in just hours, meteorologist Shane Hinton says a couple of questions about the storm’s impact on eastern North Carolina are still unanswered.
“One, what will be the intensity as it approaches even closer? Will it go back to that category 3 level? All it needs is just a little more push in regards to fuel,” he said, “And then also, ‘Will it make landfall in eastern Carolina?’ Right now, it does have that potential.”
One thing is for certain – a sleepless night for many.
“This will be an overnight storm, an overnight hurricane. Which means you definitely should not be out on the roads. You shouldn’t be on the roads during a hurricane anyway but you most definitely should not be out when the sun goes down.”
StormTrack 12 Meteorologist Les Still expects seven to maybe some isolated 12-14 inches of rain to areas near the shoreline. A flash flood watch is in place.
“One thing we will have to watch out for not only through this weekend and maybe even into next week is maybe some river flooding from the heavy, soaking rainfall we’re going to experience here.”
Life-threatening storm surge is possible with the storm, with the potential for 2-4 feet above ground in some areas and even higher in others. Still says large waves will enhance the surge in some spots and major damage to marinas, docks and piers is expected.
The areas of greatest risk include Surf City to Cape Lookout, with a surge of four to seven feet above ground; north of Cape Lookout to Duck at four to six feet; and soundside and rivers also four to six.
Storm surge inundation is expected to begin Thursday morning south of Cape Lookout then expand north into the sounds and rivers by Thursday afternoon into the overnight.