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WEATHER UPDATE: Tropical Storm Watch in Brunswick County

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

By Rachel Johnson

Staff Writer

Brunswick County is preparing for tropical storm force conditions as a result of Hurricane Sandy passing offshore.

Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano said on Friday afternoon the county is preparing for the storm.

“The Emergency Operations Center will be operating at a condition three,” Marzano said.  “This means the EOC is on hot standby. If we feel the need to activate it we can press the button and activate.”

Marzano explained emergency management would maintain a presence throughout the weekend. They are currently gathering and disseminating communication from both a local and state level and are on standby to move resources if needed.

“We are ready to go if things go south,” Marzano said. “Winds should top out around tropical storm force at 40 mph winds with locally higher gusts winds.”

According to a briefing by the National Weather Service at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, winds are anticipated to reach tropical storm force around 5 p.m. on Saturday and not subside until the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 29 around 5 a.m.

“It will be rainy and windy with one to three inches of rain and possibly up to four inches. There is very dangerous surf,” Marzano said,  “Avoid the beaches. Avoid those areas. The most notable thing with this storm is the typical storm surge modeling doesn’t handle a hybrid storm as well as a typical storm.”

At 12:45 p.m. on Friday, the National Weather Service in Wilmington and NOAA issued a threat assessment for northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina.

The newest information increases storm surge impacts from low to moderate for the easterly facing areas from near Wrightsville Beach to east facing Bald Head Island, and from just south of Myrtle Beach to Georgetown and the South Santee River. The adjustments were made due to increased tropical storm force winds.

“We are approaching a full moon and with lunar high tides you an expect the areas that typically flood in a lunar high tide to have between two and four feet of additional water on top of that as a result of the storm surge,” Marzano said. “We are going to have multiple periods of tidally influenced coastal flooding. The water will go and down depending on the winds and high tide. Its going to be a dynamic situation and you never exactly know what a storm will do until it gets here.”

Eastern facing beaches are expected to take the brunt of the storm as it passes through the area. The eastern side of Bald Head Island is the only eastern facing beach in the county.

 

Stay tuned to the Beacon online for developments as Hurricane Sandy approaches and throughout the storm.