Elsa Storm Update: North Carolina Weather Radar Shows Tropical Storm Squads Arriving in North Carolina, Could Bring Hurricanes and Power Outages
According to a 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, The center of the storm was located about 50 miles south of Columbia, South Carolina. Elsa was traveling northeast at 18 miles per hour.
WATCH LIVE: The radar displays the current location of Elsa
The storm is expected to continue to rapidly make its way through North Carolina, tracking just west of Interstate 95. The greatest chance of severe storms and tornadoes is east-central Elsa.
Elsa remains a weak tropical storm with sustained winds of 40 mph. Central North Carolina is not subject to any tropical storm or hurricane watches or warnings. However, Thursday’s flood watch is in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the entire area.
Elsa is expected to dump 1-3 inches of rain (with isolated areas getting up to 6 inches of rain) in central North Carolina and bring winds of up to 50 mph in the spots.
The rain started around 5 a.m. in Sandhills on Thursday. As the day progresses, rain spreads north through the ABC11 viewing area with the entire area seeing rain and storms by the afternoon.
Maximum wind gusts Thursday will occur between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. south of Wake County. Areas north of Wake County can expect the strongest winds between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Elsa will be moving across North Carolina very quickly. Most of the storm will be in Virginia by 9 p.m.
Friday will be partly cloudy with highs in the low 90s. Weekends look mostly sunny with those temperatures still in the low 90s.
North Carolina preparations
The Raleigh State Emergency Operations Center was active on Tuesday to monitor the storm.
“North Carolina residents and visitors should closely monitor this storm’s forecast,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s important for everyone to be aware and prepared for rain, and it’s also important to avoid driving through flood waters.”
The state’s emergency response team has reached out to local governments, to make sure they have everything they need before Elsa arrives.
State leaders say individuals should also make sure they have everything they need in their emergency kits, including an evacuation plan and essential goods.
Meanwhile, the city of Raleigh is using an online system to automatically lower the water level in Johnson Lake.
The system reduces the amount of water flowing from the dam downstream, leaving more room for the lake to fill during a storm.
Before the automatic system was installed online, Raleigh city officials had to go to Johnson Lake in person to open the valve.
Johnston County Public Schools has announced that the Summer Learning Program for students at all locations will be canceled on Thursday, July 8. Friday, July 16 will be makeup day.
All summer programs at Durham Public Schools were also canceled on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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