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As Florence hammers southeastern NC, area sees little impact

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A large trawler/tug is shown taking on water at Edenton Marina in Edenton earlier today following Hurricane Florence's arrival in North Carolina.

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From staff reports

Friday, September 14, 2018

Though Hurricane Florence is bringing flooding and destruction to southeastern North Carolina, it's poised to have little impact on area counties.

Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management Coordinator Christy Saunders said earlier today that the two counties, including Elizabeth City, had seen no power outages, flooding or other problems yet from the Category 1 hurricane which made landfall at Wrightsville Beach this morning. 

Albemarle Electric Membership Corp. spokesman Chris Powell said there were 29 customers without power in Chowan County and two without power in Perquimans.

Powell said there had been only scattered outages overnight Thursday into Friday morning.

"It has been very sparse throughout the night," Powell said.

Greg Edwards of Dominion Power said there was a 38-minute outage at 10:02 a.m. Friday in Sunbury when a tree limb fell on a line locking out a circuit serving 580 customers. The limb was removed and power restored, he said.

Dominion reported another 15 customers in northeastern North Carolina without power Friday morning, many of them in Currituck but also scattered throughout the area.

The N.C. Highway Patrol did not report any weather-related accidents in the area Thursday night or Friday morning.

According to a weather report Saunders shared, forecasters expected thunderstorms to start in area at 7 a.m. and last through the afternoon.

The forecast expected only 1.6 inches of rain today, with rain most expected during the afternoon, followed by one inch on Saturday and about a third of an inch on Sunday.

The report also shows winds should be strongest today, though only at 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Wind speeds will fall to just short of 20 mph on Saturday, with gusts to 30 mph. 

Another weather report through the National Weather Service office in Wakefield shows storm surge of between one and three feet is expected along the Pasquotank River from Elizabeth City northward.

Storm surge is expected to be greater to the west of Pasquotank, Perquimans and Chowan counties, where the National Weather Service warned areas near the western part of the Albemarle Sound could see two to three feet of storm surge.

The report also warns that, while Florence is south of the area, "large waves have reached the coast and surf is extremely dangerous."

"Do not venture out onto area beaches or approach the surf," it states.

Most businesses along Ehringhaus Street were boarded up and closed earlier today. All area government offices and schools are closed today.

All area counties remain under both tropical storm and storm surge warnings. 

The forecast in Perquimans County is essentially the same as in Pasquotank and Camden. According to Emergency Management Coordinator Jonathan Nixon, between 3 and 5 inches of rainfall is expected for the duration of the storm, with heavier amounts possible in certain areas.

The state of emergency in Perquimans and the towns of Hertford and Winfall remains in place, including its nightly curfew and ban on the sale of alcohol, firearms and ammunition. County and town officials were scheduled to meet this morning and discuss whether the curfew and bans on alcohol, firearms and ammunition, which are in effect through tonight, would continue.

In Chowan County, a low-lying part of the small road by Queen Anne's Creek that leads to Hayes Plantation was under water, possibly 4-5 inches deep. Tree limbs were down in Edenton but town crews were busy clearing debris from streets and stormwater basins.

A large trawler/tug was taking on water at Edenton Marina. Other sailboats appeared to be in good condition, but a storm surge, estimated at between 3-5 feet, was forecast in the days ahead.

Businesses were boarded up along South Broad Street but did not appear to be damaged.

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