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Weather and rip currents creating dangers; more rain forecast

When dangerous rip currents are present, stay out of the water. Photo: P. Vankevich

The Outer Banks has had record-breaking rain levels for the past 10 days and it’s not over.  More stormy weather is on the way for this week, weather forecasters say.  Unofficial rain gauges on Ocracoke have shown up to 13 inches of rain have fallen.

Getting to and from Ocracoke has been problematic recently owing to standing water on N.C. Highway 12 on Hatteras Island impeding travel.  With all the rain that has fallen in this area over the past week, The National Weather Service urges people to use extra caution when driving since water on the roads could be deeper than it looks.

A flash flood warning has been issued for the northern Outer Banks as very slow-moving thunderstorms continue to develop and move over the area.

With this unsettled weather system that is streaming tropical moisture into the region, dangerous rip currents have plagued the area with several rescues on Ocracoke in the last few days and elsewhere along the North Carolina coast. Swimmers and beach-goers are advised not to go into the ocean. One can enjoy the beach without going into the water. A high rip risk current has been issued forMonday for beaches from Surf City to Cape Hatteras.

The NWS service states that if caught in a rip current remain calm. Don`t fight the current. Swim in parallel to the shoreline.  When out of the current, swim back to shore. If tired, float or tread water until out of the rip current. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.

Strong long shore currents can sweep swimmers and surfers into rip currents, piers, jetties and other hazardous areas. In many cases, the long shore current is strong enough to prevent swimmers from being able to keep their feet on the bottom making it difficult to return to shore.

For more information, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.

 

 

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