09/08/17 — Irma's track may go west

View Archive

Irma's track may go west

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 8, 2017 5:50 AM

The Wayne County Emergency Operations Center was activated this morning at 8 a.m. and essential personnel are monitoring the movement of Hurricane Irma.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday it appeared increasingly likely that the state will experience impacts, possibly "significant" impacts by Hurricane Irma, according to the National Weather Service.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not hurricane-force winds will be observed in the state.

The onset of tropical storm force winds will most likely be early Monday morning from south to north.

Most of the state should expect "significant" rainfall that potentially could cause inland flash flooding and dangerous travel conditions.

Rain is expected to arrive late Sunday night/Monday morning, ending early Tuesday.

The storm track is becoming clear, but not yet set with landfall possible over Georgia/Carolinas, according to the National Weather Service.

The latest center track places the storm over the Miami area around 2 p.m. Sunday moving to near Savannah, Georgia, by 2 p.m. Monday and in eastern Tennessee as a tropical storm by 2 p.m. Tuesday.

However, the storm could track anywhere inside the forecast cone.

"Early preparations are being made to ensure the safety of our citizens," said Carol Bowden, the county's public affairs director. "We will continue to update as necessary through the following sources: WGTV Channel 10 and 99, local and regional media, social media and www.waynegov.com."

In addition to monitoring the storm, refer to the hurricane preparedness guidelines on the county website www.waynegov.com, she said.

When tracking a storm, remember that a hurricane is not just a point on a map, Bowden said. Usually the coordinates of the center of the storm are given so that it can be tracked on a map.

However, hurricanes can have tropical storm force winds more than 200 miles from that center and even hurricane force winds from 75 to 100 miles away from the center, she said.

"We must remember that hurricane forecasting is not an exact science and they don't always go where predicted," Bowden said.

River flooding is expected because of Hurricane Irma, but officials with the National Weather Service Raleigh office do not expect the level of flooding experienced in October, 2016, from Hurricane Matthew.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday the Neuse River was at 6 feet. It was predicted to reach 6.3 feet by late Friday before falling to below 5 feet early Tuesday.

The flood level is 18 feet.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday Hurricane Irma packed winds of 175 mph, down slightly from 185 mph. It was located 65 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island moving westnorthwest at 16 mph.

Hurricane Jose will affected some Caribbean Islands already hit by Hurricane Irma, but at this time it is not expected to affect the U.S.

Read the News-Argus or follow the paper online at www.newsargus.com or follow the paper on social media for the latest updates and storm-related information.