RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina beaches are bracing for a dreaded double dose of troubling weather leading to likely coastal flooding and rip currents starting this weekend — thanks to an offshore hurricane and King Tides.
Hurricane Franklin is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane — with winds up to 129 mph — on Monday. Although far off the North Carolina coast, Hurricane Franklin is expected to move over the western Atlantic, kicking up waves all along our coast.
“These swells are also likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions late this weekend into early next week along portions of the east coast of the United States,” the National Hurricane Center warned Saturday.
In addition to Hurricane Franklin, King Tides are expected around the same time. King Tides are exceptionally high tides that occur during a new or full moon, according to the National Weather Service.
This week, a super full moon, and lunar perigee — the time of the month the moon is closest to the Earth — will be underway.
Already, North Carolina officials are warning of possible coastal flooding and “dangerous rip currents” starting Sunday and continuing through the week.
Carolina Beach warned residents Saturday afternoon about potential problems Sunday through Monday, September 4.
The Carolina Beach areas most often affected include Canal Drive, Florida Avenue, Winner Avenue, Carolina Beach Avenue North, and other low-lying areas, officials said.
At the Outer Banks, the Cape Lookout National Seashore issued a warning about the rip currents and possible flooding of beaches — and overwash of roads and campsites.
“Beach erosion and ocean overwash impacts possible across portions of the Outer Banks,” officials with Cape Lookout National Seashore said Friday.
The highest chances of flooding and rip currents are expected to start Sunday and continue through Tuesday — “possibly extending into mid- to late-week,” Cape Lookout officials said.
The upper Outer Banks, which include Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Pea Island, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon and Buxton already had a high threat of rip currents, the National Weather Service said.
Beaches and islands to the south, including Hatteras Village, Ocracoke, Frisco, Atlantic Beach, Indian Beach, Emerald Isle and North Topsail Beach had a moderate rip current warning.