During the overnight hours, Hurricane Dorian downgraded to a category one hurricane. As of 7 a.m., the storm is southeast of Cape Lookout traveling northeast at 15 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 90 mph. The northern part of Hurricane Dorian’s eyewall brushed the Crystal Coast overnight. Dorian could make landfall near Cape Hatteras. A 90 mile per hour wind gust was recorded at the Fort Macon Coast Guard Station. Reports of downed trees and power outages are coming in from across the area, according to John Elardo, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Newport, N.C.
“I think this morning with the storm being so close to the coast, we’re going to have to deal with wind and rain and flooding issues. There have been some places that have received over 7 to 8 inches of rain over the past 24 hours, and there’s still more rain that’s going to occur until the system moves a little bit further to the northeast.”
Heavy rainfall and high winds will continue across Eastern North Carolina this morning and afternoon. As the storm moves northeast, wind directions will change and storm surge of 4-7 feet along the Outer Banks will be a major concern.
“That storm surge issue from let’s say up the Neuse River and Down East Carteret County, Pamlico County, and southern Craven, that’s going to shift more to the Outer Banks once the winds start coming in to the northwest,” said Elardo.
By late afternoon, conditions will start to rapidly improve across inland counties. Rain, wind, and surge will taper off in coastal counties this evening.