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Coastal Virginia Tiered Evacuation Zones

NOAA’s Hurricane Dorian Tracker and Impact Zones Outlook

September 7th, 2019:

10:00 am EST: Hurricane Dorian is brushing past Eastern New England, producing Tropical Storm Conditions, as it races towards Canada.

Dorian is pulling away from the Mid-Atlantic. Rain is beginning to reach parts of SE New England. Showers and heavy rain will expand into SE Canada overnight.

There are currently no watches or warnings for the Carolina’s or Virginia.

Storm clean up has begun in the affected States and power is being restored.

September 6th, 2019:

10:00 am EST: In coordination with local law enforcement and county emergency management officials, Governor Henry McMaster has lifted evacuation orders for residents in all evacuated counties, effective immediately. Those counties include: Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown, and Horry. The governor lifted the evacuation orders for Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties yesterday.

The governor has also restored local schools district’s authority concerning school closings. State government offices in all eight evacuated counties will operate as normal on Monday. All mandatory medical evacuations have also been lifted.

Returning residents are encouraged to exercise patience and expect lengthy travel times, blocked roadways, or detours back to evacuated areas and are asked not to drive around barricades or use emergency lanes that are needed for first responders.

While weather conditions have improved in the state, motorists should be cautious of fallen trees, downed power lines, and standing water in and around roadways. Power outages continue to affect some coastal areas, and returning citizens may continue to experience outages.

8:30 am EST: The eye of Dorian is passing just east of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, placing the area around Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Cedar Island and Ocracoke Island in the hurricane’s eyewall, containing the strongest winds.

Cape Lookout, North Carolina, reported one-minute sustained winds of 81 mph, with a gust to 94 mph early Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. The eyewall will then hammer at least parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Gusty winds toppled trees, triggering scattered power outages in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.

Tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) extend up to 220 miles from the center, while hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) extend up to 45 miles from the center.

Onshore winds are leading to increasing coastal and storm surge flooding.

Secondary roads were reported to be flooded from water piling in from Pamlico Sound in Hyde County near Middletown early Friday morning.

Heavy rainbands continues to wrap inland into eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, prompting flash flood warnings in some areas.

Several streets were flooded overnight in Wilmington, North Carolina, and standing water is likely to remain into Friday.

After midnight Friday, multiple stretches of Interstate 40 were reported flooded near the Sampson-Duplin County line north of Turkey, North Carolina. Fifteen roads were closed in Sampson County due to flooding and one section of a road was reported washed out near Clinton.

Roads were reported flooded countywide in Washington County, North Carolina, early Friday.

September 5th, 2019:

8:40 pm EST: Virginia Beach officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for Sandbridge residents effective at 6 p.m., and voluntary evacuations for those who live in Zone A and areas that have historically experienced flooding. Norfolk is also issuing a voluntary evacuation for those who live in Zone A, Portsmouth has also ordered voluntary evacuations for residents who live in Zone A, Chesapeake has also issued voluntary evacuations for those who live in Zone A.

Hurricane Warning has been issued for  the Virginia Coast, Tropical Storm Warnings extend up the coast to East Maryland and Delaware.

Please see zone map below:

8:25 am EST:  As of 5 am ET, the center of Dorian is located 80 miles southeast of Charleston, SC. Max sustained winds are 115 mph the storm is larger today with tropical storm force winds extending out nearly 200 miles from the center. This makes Dorian a Cat 3 storm. Dorian is moving north at 8 mph.

There are no significant changes in the foretasted track. The storm will begin veering toward the northeast later today and continue that motion thru Friday. The center of Dorian will approach the coast of South Carolina later this morning, move near or over the coast of South Carolina later today, and then move near or over the coast of North Carolina tonight and early Friday.

The timing of impacts within this zone in this area is today and tomorrow (NC and VA). The highest impacts will likely be directed at areas near and along the coasts. Impacts include damaging storm surge (4-8 feet above tide) in coastal locations, heavy rains (totals above 6 in), and damaging winds (60-80 mph with higher gusts) in areas near the Coast.

September 4th, 2019:

Hurricane Dorian remains a Category 2 storm with 110mph winds, and is churning up the East coast past Florida.

In the next 24 hours it will impact Savannah and Charleston then possibly making landfall   in North Carolina. The storm is only 5mph shy of becoming a Category 3 storm.

Storm surge, and coastal flooding is forecasted for the Carolinas.


There are no significant changes in the expected track or continued gradual weakening of Dorian this morning. The details below:

Currently, the center of Dorian is located 90 miles east of Daytona Beach, FL. The storm is moving north at 8 mph. Dorian is now a Category 2 storm with max sustained winds of 105 mph, however, its wind-field has expanded and currently hurricane force winds extend outward to 60 miles while tropical storm force winds extend outward to 175 miles.
The forecast track continues to nudge slightly closer to the coastal areas of the Carolina’s as the storm begins to veer in a northeasterly direction by tonight and tomorrow. The center of Dorian is expected to skirt the coastal areas of South Carolina tonight/tomorrow and North Carolina on Thursday night/Friday. Odds of Dorian making landfall on the Southeast Coast (the Carolinas) has risen to 65 percent compared to 55 percent yesterday. Even if the center of Dorian does not “officially” make landfall, the most conservative model brings it within 10 miles of the Coast. We expect Dorian to remain a hurricane on its track along the coast of the Carolina’s thru Friday.
Dorian is expected to continue to slowly weaken. It will still be a Category 2 storm the next 24 hours and then be downgraded to a Category 1 storm later Thursday and Friday.
The risk for the coastal areas of the East Coast of Florida is ending from south to north across the Peninsula. The northeast portion of Florida (the Jacksonville area for example) will continue to be impacted today and tonight before the storm moves up the Coast on Thursday.
The risk remains elevated for eastern areas of North Carolina as well as southeast Virginia including the Norfolk area.
Additional areas of impact will be the East Coast of the Delmarva Peninsula, far eastern Long Island, and Cape Cod (indirect impacts) as well as the Canadian Maritimes (primarily Nova Scotia and Newfoundland) with more of a direct impact.

September 3rd, 2019:

As of 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Dorian was a Category 2 hurricane causing “life-threatening” storm surge on Grand Bahama Island, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm has top sustained winds of 110 mph and was moving northwest at 5 mph.

Watches and warnings in effect

A summary of watches and warnings in effect, via the National Hurricane Center.

  • A hurricane warning was in effect in Florida from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach and in South Carolina from north of Edisto Beach to South Santee River.
  • A hurricane watch was in effect from north of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina; north of South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina; and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds in North Carolina.
  • A tropical storm warning was in effect in Florida from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet; from north of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina; and in the Bahamas for Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands.
  • A storm surge warning was in effect from Jupiter Inlet, Florida, to South Santee River, South Carolina.
  • A storm surge watch was in effect from north of South Santee River, South Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

Dorian has remained stalled during the past 24 hours over Grand Bahama Island. The center of Dorian is located 105 miles due east of West Palm Beach, Florida. The storm has weakened to a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.
As for the forecast, there are no surprises no major changes in the expected track thru the end of the week. Later today, Dorian will begin to drift north and then northwest as it parallels the East Coast of Florida. It now looks like the center of Dorian will most likely skirt just off the coast of Florida versus making landfall. Our odds of the center of Dorian making landfall on the East Coast of Florida is reduced to 20 percent from 50 percent yesterday. 

It is important to note that even if Dorian does not make an “official landfall”, much of the East Coast of Florida will have major impacts from Dorian. This is especially the case from Melbourne to Jacksonville. The most significant threat period for the East Coast will be tonight thru Wednesday night. As for intensity, further weakening is likely as it drifts north toward the Southeast U.S. Coast.
The risk to the coastal areas of the Southeast U.S. (GA and the Carolinas) continues to be high. Landfall of a weakened Dorian (but still a cat 1 or 2 storm) is more likely in this area (especially in SC and NC) versus the East Coast of Florida. Our odds of the center of Dorian making landfall in SC or NC is 55 percent today. The timing of impact is Wednesday night (GA) thru Friday (NC).

General Information

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