COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) — Columbus County can expect Tropical Storm force winds (39+ mph). A few gusts may be 50 mph and 2 to 5 inches of rain is expected, according to Meteorologist Robb Ellis.
To see the list of shelters, click here. There is no pet shelter present at this time.
Timing of the storm
- Friday afternoon — The North Carolina coast will be under hurricane warnings until the system has passed. Some weaker outer rain bands will bring scattered showers through much of the day. These rain bands may contain gusty winds, a few gusts near tropical storm force are possible.
- Friday evening— Outer rain bands will begin to move onshore by early evening. These rain bands will contain tropical storm force gusts and coastal counties may see sustained tropical storm winds by midnight. Winds will continue to increase and heavy rain will accompany more rain bands. Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out. The strongest winds will be along the beaches.
- Saturday morning — Hurricane Irene will pass off the Cape Fear coast and should make landfall along the Crystal coast or Outer Banks. Heavy rain can be expected along coastal counties, with gusty winds at times over hurricane force. Gusts may be even higher in Onslow County (80-90 mph). Inland counties will see heavy rain but not as much. Some flooding is possible near the coast, and winds could gust near hurricane force at Surf City or Topsail Beach. Far inland counties will see a lighter showers from rain bands that reach inland. Breezy conditions can be expected through much of Saturday. Worst conditions in the Cape Fear location are expected from 4-8 AM.
- Saturday night — Rain and gusty winds will continue most of Saturday. These will begin to diminish throughout the evening as Irene pulls away from the North Carolina coast, however Irene is a large storm so it will be a slow process to get it completely out of here.