National Hurricane Center wise Henri’s top sustained wind at 70 miles per hour. The system moves towards the Tar Heel mode at 9 miles per hour.
Henri is expected to become a hurricane later today or Friday. That’s when it will also turn north and northeast and keep it far off the North Carolina coast.
Rain and wind from Henri will not come to North Carolina, but the storm will cause moderate to high river currents along the coast.
Hurricane Grace bashes the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday morning.
Grace has a maximum sustained wind of 80 miles per hour and moves west at 17 miles per hour.
Grace will dump a lot of rain on the Yucatan Peninsula, causing floods and dangerous storm surge. Grace can also cause dangerous mudslides.
The storm weakens as it moves over land, but when it returns to the Gulf of Mexico, it can intensify again before making another landfall around Veracruz.
Tropical Depression Fred blew into the northeastern United States on Wednesday, triggering heavy rainfall and threatening mudslides and flooding in New York after closing highways in the lower Appalachians. Dozens of people were rescued from flooded areas of North Carolina after rain showers washed out bridges and swamped homes.
Unconfirmed tornadoes unleashed by the stormy weather already caused damage in places in Georgia and North Carolina as early as Tuesday as Fred moved north, well inland from the coastal areas that usually carry the majority of tropical weather. A death was reported in Florida, where authorities said a driver water-leveled and fell into a ditch near Panama City.
About 37,000 customers were without power Wednesday in North Carolina and West Virginia, according to utility tracker poweroutage.us. In North Carolina, where continued rainstorms raised waterways and washed rocks and mud on highways, several landslides temporarily closed several lanes on Interstate 40 and closed another highway Tuesday.
Fred’s remains moved into Pennsylvania by noon Wednesday, and although the post-tropical cyclone no longer had much of a swirling center, it was still able to spawn tornadoes and other dangerous weather. Rich Otto, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said precipitation is expected to range from 2-4 inches (5-10 centimeters), with a few spots of 6 inches (16 centimeters), across a stretch from Pennsylvania to New England through Friday.
“The bigger threat is probably just the chances of floods and widespread flood watches prevailing right now,” he said.
Schools were closed and people evacuated along three rain-soaked rivers in distant eastern Tennessee. “The areas around the Pigeon River, French Broad and Nolichucky have become unsafe,” Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger said in an order sent to Facebook late Tuesday. Four shelters opened.
Schools in Lincoln County, West Virginia, also canceled classes Wednesday because of high water from heavy rain.
In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper said Wednesday that he had declared a state of emergency and about 100 people had been rescued during the flooding in the state’s mountains. There were at least 70 water rescue efforts in Buncombe County, spokeswoman Lillian Govus said, and 911 call records show 2,400 calls within 24 hours, more than double the typical volume.
Authorities also found at least 10 cars abandoned on flooded roads where people apparently sought safety and had to leave their cars behind, said Taylor Jones, the county’s rescue director. The town of Candler experienced significant flooding with impassable roads and two washed-out bridges that prevented dozens of people from leaving their homes. No deaths or injuries were reported immediately.
To the west of the Canton area, a rescue team from the eastern part of the state performed water rescues of 15 adults, two children and several pets in the Canton area, New Hanover County Fire Rescue Chief Rudolph Shackelford said in a statement. Pictures submitted by the team showed rescue workers in bright yellow vests putting rafts with outboard engines on the outskirts of yards submerged with muddy water up to the front doors of several homes. They also helped evacuate several apartment buildings threatened by flooding.
Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers said hours of flooding Tuesday “created a major disaster area” in his city.
“What really surprised us was how fast the water rose, the sheer amount and intensity of it,” Smathers said by telephone.
Copyright © 2021 ABC11-WTVD-TV / DT. All rights reserved – Associated Press contributed to this report.
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