8/2/20: ISAIAS UPDATE: DARE TAKES NO FURTHER PREVENTIVE ACTION AS HURRICANE WEAKENS TO TROPICAL STORM. Hatteras Island Evacuation Remains in Effect.

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Dare County officials decided not to take any further preventive action this morning in response to Isaias, which is now a slow-moving tropical storm, not a hurricane, after receiving an update from the National Weather Service.

“While an evacuation order is not anticipated,” Dare County Emergency Management reported in a 10 a.m. bulletin, “it is imperative for everyone to keep their guard up and pay close attention to updated weather forecasts from the National Weather Service because the Outer Banks will experience impacts.”

See the bulletin at https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6514/398

Dare County remains under a State of Emergency, according to DCEM’s Isaias Bulletin #2, and the mandatory evacuation orders issued yesterday for Hatteras Island are still in effect, because of the “vulnerability” of N.C. Hwy 12, which is the only road access to and from the island.

As of 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Isaias was located 40 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, Fla., according to the National Weather Service. It has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. and is moving slowly northwest at 8 mph.

An updated storm track today shows the storm passing by the Outer Banks on Tuesday. Wind effects from Isaias may be experienced locally late on Monday.

Ordinarily, the warm water Isaias is passing over would support the tropical storm’s intensification, but it is having to contend with dry air and wind shear that have not allowed it to become “well-organized,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecast models “do not show the shear abating,” the NHC reported this morning, and “that window of opportunity for it to re-strengthen is closing.”

This morning’s DCEM bulletin warns of “storm surge inundation” on the Outer Banks that may produce ocean overwash and soundside flooding of “1 to 2 feet above normally dry ground, and up to 3 feet in some areas.”

“Some vulnerable spots along Hwy. 12 on Hatteras Island “are already experiencing minor ocean overwash during periods of high tide,” the bulletin reports.

Soundside flooding is likely to occur “in low-lying areas, at spots that are impacted by southerly winds,” the bulletin warns, particularly from Manteo to Kitty Hawk.

You may check real-time soundside water levels at https://fiman.nc.gov.

A high risk of rip currents and hazardous ocean conditions exists at all Outer Banks beaches over the next few days, according to the DCEM bulletin, which advises all beachgoers to stay out of the water and obey red-flag warnings.

In yesterday’s emergency declaration, Dare County prohibited ocean swimming off of Hatteras Island, but it made an exception for surfers. (See The Beacon, 8/1/20.)

For updated information from DCEM, the National Park Service, and the towns of Southern Shores, Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Manteo, visit darenc.com/isaias.

DCEM will issue another update today by 5 p.m.

Ann G., Sjoerdsma, 8/2/20

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