Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Weakening Ophelia still poses a risk of coastal flooding and heavy rain in some parts of the US

Published:Sunday | September 24, 2023 | 4:49 PM
Waves generated by Tropical Storm Ophelia crash up on the banks of the Potomac River along Irving Avenue in the town of Colonial Beach in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on Saturday, September 23, 2023. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP)

Nearly a day after being downgraded from a tropical storm, Ophelia still threatened parts of the Northeast on Sunday with coastal flooding, life-threatening waves and heavy rain from Washington to New York City, the National Hurricane Center said.

As Ophelia weakened, a new tropical storm named Philippe brewed in the Atlantic.

Even though Ophelia was downgraded Saturday night, meteorologists warned that swells generated by the storm would affect the East Coast for the rest of the weekend, likely causing dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.

Ophelia was also expected to drop 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimetres) of additional rain over parts of the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Isolated river flooding was also possible.

Ophelia was south of Washington on Sunday morning and was expected to continue moving northeast before turning east and then weakening more over the next two days, according to the hurricane center.

Meanwhile, Philippe was 1,175 miles (1,890 kilometres) west of the Cabo Verde Islands, which are off the west coast of Africa. That storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (75 kph).

The National Weather Service said numerous New Jersey communities reported coastal flooding, including Sea Isle City and Brielle. Thousands of people in the state remained without power Sunday. reported more than 6,000 customers were without electricity Sunday morning, down from a high of 13,000.

Flooding and road closures were also reported in coastal Delaware.

The storm came ashore Saturday near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, with near-hurricane-strength winds of 70 mph (113 kph), but the winds weakened as the system travelled north, the hurricane center said.

Videos from social media showed significant flooding in the state's riverfront communities such as New Bern, Belhaven and Washington. A few thousand North Carolina homes and businesses remained without electricity Sunday morning, according to, which tracks utility reports.

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