Hermine Lingers Off East Coast, Battering Shore and Threatening Dangerous Storm Surge | NBC4 Washington
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Hermine Lingers Off East Coast, Battering Shore and Threatening Dangerous Storm Surge

Governors all along the coast announced emergency preparations, and the storm sustained 70 mph winds late Sunday



    Sunday morning is pleasant so far besides wind and rough surf -- but the calm is deceptive, as Delaware's shore points brace for the brunt of the flooding Hermine is expected to cause. NBC10's George Spencer is in Rehoboth with the latest conditions there. (Published Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016)

    Hermine continued Monday to twist hundreds of miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean and was expected to keep swimmers and surfers out of beach waters because of its dangerous waves and rip currents on the last day of the long holiday weekend.

    "We're not looking at a landfall," said Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center on Sunday, adding Hermine is just sitting and pushing the water up along the coast making storm surge a great concern.

    It was expected to stall over the water before weakening again.

    Governors all along the Eastern Seaboard announced emergency preparations. Tropical storm watches and warnings were in effect from Virginia to Massachusetts, with special concern focused on New Jersey and Delaware, where Rehoboth Beach could experience wind gusts up to 50 mph and life-threatening storm surges during high tide late Sunday and into Monday.

    Drone Video Shows Storm Damage in Fla.'s Alligator Point

    [NATL] Drone Video Shows Storm Damage in Fla.'s Alligator Point
    As Hurricane Hermine slammed into Florida's coast early Friday, the onrushing surf washed out a 5,000-foot stretch of road in Alligator Point. Video courtesy Daniel Martinko. (Published Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016)

    Tropical storm-force winds were possible Monday in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie warned that minor to moderate flooding was still likely in coastal areas and said the storm will cause major problems, even as it tracks away from land.

    "Don't be lulled by the nice weather," Christie said, referring to the bright sunny skies along the Jersey Shore on Sunday. "Don't think that nothing is going to happen, because something is going to happen."

    On the Virginia Beach boardwalk, the Atlantic Ocean roared with uncharacteristically large waves, drawing only a couple of surfers into the choppy white water. But hundreds, if not thousands of people, had descended onto the beach for the traditional last weekend of summer. Umbrellas and canopies dotted the sand under partly sunny skies.

    Hermine failed to stop Barb and Don Willis of Buffalo, New York, from enjoying the trip they booked months ago. They even braved the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on Saturday as the wind whipped their car and the bay rose close to the bridge's bottom.

    "That was so scary," Barb Willis said. "Oh my God. My hands were white knuckles, and the water was so high. It was horrible," she said.

    The couple, both in their 60s, said they knew the storm would blow over, even as friends texted their concerns.

    Todd Solomon, who lives in an area of Virginia Beach that often floods, said water crept up to the foundations of some homes. But he said he did not know of any buildings that were actually flooded.

    "If you weren't in the flood-prone area, it was like a normal day," he said. "And if your power was out, you kind of bounced around to find a restaurant or grocery store that still had power."

    Driver Killed After Strong Winds Overturn Truck

    [NATL] Driver Killed After Strong Winds Overturn Truck
    A man died early Saturday after a tractor trailer overturned because of high winds from Tropical Storm Hermine on the Lindsay C. Warren Bridge east of Columbia, North Carolina. The drawbridge on U.S. Highway 64 over the Alligator River connects Tyrrell and Dare counties. (Courtesy WAVY's Joe Fisher) (Published Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016)

    On Sunday afternoon, he said, a few homes still lacked power. But most people were cleaning up trees and branches felled by the storm.

    New York City planned to close its beaches Monday because of rip currents, and the ban could extend into Tuesday, depending on weather conditions, officials said.

    Long Island authorities urged people to evacuate the summer getaway known as Fire Island to avoid any storm surge and coastal flooding. Emergency officials warned that anyone who stayed would not be able to leave after ferries shut down Sunday evening.

    Hermine rose up over the Gulf of Mexico and hit Florida on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm across Georgia.

    Hermine Batters Coastal Communities

    [NATL] Hermine Batters Coastal Communities
    Anna Marie and Pete Coady, from Frisco, North Carolina, says their street is completely flooded and it looks like their home is "basically in the sound." Their house is raised up 10 feet on stilts, but the water has risen to at least 4 feet already and is showing no signs of receding. Meanwhile, in Virginia, strong winds ripped the siding off a building in Virginia Beach Saturday. (Courtesy Anna Marie and Pete Coady/@WXSLAGES) (Published Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016)

    It has caused two deaths, inflicted widespread property damage and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people from Florida to Virginia.

    The Anclote River northwest of Tampa was forecast to go well into major flood stage Sunday afternoon. Emergency managers issued mandatory evacuations for some low-lying mobile home parks and apartment buildings.

    As of 2 a.m. EDT Monday, Hermine's top sustained winds were steady at 70 mph (110 kph) as it moved north at 3 mph (6 kph). The storm was centered about 320 miles (515 kilometers) southeast of the eastern tip of Long Island.

    Since sea levels have risen up to a foot due to global warming, the storm surges pushed by Hermine could be even more damaging, climate scientists say.

    Michael Mann at Pennsylvania State University noted that this century's 1-foot sea-level rise in New York City meant 25 more square miles flooded during Superstorm Sandy, causing billions in additional damage.

    "We are already experiencing more and more flooding due to climate change in every storm," said Michael Oppenheimer, a geosciences professor at Princeton University. "And it's only the beginning."

    The winds and rain were so strong Saturday in North Carolina that all bridges to the Outer Banks were closed for several hours following a deadly accident over the intracoastal waterway.

    Tyrrell County Sheriff Darryl Liverman told the Virginian-Pilot that high winds tipped over an 18-wheeler, killing its driver and shutting down the U.S. 64 bridge.

    And on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, a small tornado spawned by Hermine knocked over two trailers and injured four people, authorities said.

    Earlier in Florida, a homeless man died from a falling tree.