RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hurricane Elsa weakened into a tropical storm overnight as it moved north nearly parallel to the west coast of Florida.
Those living in central and eastern North Carolina need to be prepared for significant rains and possible flooding, the governor said.
Officials in Dare County said up to 3 inches of heavy rainfall is expected, which could bring localized flash flooding, isolated tornadoes and gusty winds. High surf with dangerous rip currents should also be expected.
“Residents and visitors to North Carolina should keep a close watch on the forecast for this storm,” said Cooper. “It’s important that everyone be aware and prepared for rains, and it’s also important to avoid driving through floodwaters.”
The storm is forecast to remain a tropical storm as it crosses over central North Carolina Thursday. The track shifted a little to the west, bringing it over Raleigh Thursday afternoon. Rainfall amounts will generally between one to three inches.
The eastern part of the state could receive one to three inches of rain with some spots getting five inches.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh was activated Tuesday to monitor the storm.
“Small changes in the forecast track of a tropical system can mean big changes in storm impacts and rainfall amounts,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “That’s why close attention to the forecast for your area is important.”
Elsa is a fast mover and will be tracking over Virginia by late Thursday. By 6 p.m. on Thursday, most of central North Carolina will be drying and clearing as the tropical storm pulls north away from the area.
North Carolina residents should be sure they:
- Have multiple ways to receive weather information from reliable sources.
- Review your personal emergency plan and know your evacuation routes.
- Check your emergency supply kit, which should contain food, water, prescription medicines, charging cords, batteries and other essentials to support your family for several days.
- Be sure to plan for elderly relatives and pets.
- Make sure your insurance is up-to-date.