This post has been updated to reflect a tornado watch for the area, as well as other storm preparedness advice.
The Town of Emerald Isle and Carteret County are currently under a Tropical Storm Warning, and anticipate seeing the effects of Tropical Storm Elsa today as it moves across North Carolina.
Updated at 8:45 a.m.: Carteret County is under a tornado watch until 3 p.m. on July 8, 2021.
The National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office released the following information:
Tropical Storm Elsa is still expected to cross North Carolina Thursday into Thursday night. The forecast remains generally the same with a few minor changes.
- Slight shift westward in Elsa's forecast track as it moves over North Carolina.
- Decrease in expected rainfall totals over Eastern NC. Training of precipitation within rain bands could still result in localized flash flooding.
Here is what remains the same:
- Isolated severe thunderstorms including a few tornadoes are possible.
- Gusty winds to tropical storm force may occur.
- Strong winds may lead to minor water level rises up to 2 feet above ground for sound-side portions of the Outer Banks, mainly north of Cape Hatteras.
- High Surf with a High Risk for dangerous rip currents Thursday, possibly lingering into Friday.
Red flags are flying and nobody should enter the water today. The Town's lifeguard towers are closed for the day, but roaming lifeguards will be on the beach strand as long as it is safe to do so, to reminder people to stay out of the water.
The Town of Emerald Isle recommends all trash and recycling cans, as well as any other lightweight yard items, be placed in a safe area where they will not blow around or fall over. Simmons & Simmons will not be collecting trash today, but will resume regular ocean-side pickup on Friday, and sound-side service on Tuesday.
The EmeraldFest Concert with The Mad Fiddler scheduled for today has been postponed to Thursday, August 26th due to the potential for inclement weather.
You can find important hurricane reminders and information on the Town's website: www.emeraldisle-nc.org/hurricane-information. If any property owners or longterm residents do not currently have a disaster re-entry pass, please take the proper steps to get one from the Emerald Isle Police Department before a hurricane is heading toward the area.
Don't forget, if you see standing water on a roadway, turn around - don't drown.
You can sign up for emergency alerts through the Carteret County CodeRed system here: https://www.carteretcountync.gov/525/Emergency-Notification.