WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials at the North Carolina coast including the Outer Banks are warning of a severe weather triple threat coinciding this week: two hurricanes and King Tides.
“Three weather events are combining this week to create hazardous conditions,” Cape Lookout National Seashore officials are warning, just as a tropical storm watch was issued Tuesday.
Hurricane Idalia is forecast to hit the North Carolina coast late Wednesday and early Thursday with 60 mph winds and up to 8 inches of rain at the Outer Banks and around Wilmington, including Brunswick County.
Hurricane Franklin remains offshore but it is kicking up high swells and surf all along the North Carolina coast.
Then, King Tides, which are exceptionally high tides that occur during a new or full moon, are forecast until Monday.
“There have already been impacts from swells associated with Hurricane Franklin and the King Tide,” Cape Lookout National Seashore officials said Tuesday.
Now, with Idalia thrown into the mix, more trouble is likely, according to authorities.
Tuesday, a tropical storm warning was issued for Wednesday and Thursday for areas around and south of Wilmington.
Southport, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach authorities warned residents Tuesday they should move cars to higher ground ahead of the storm and King Tide.
“We expect significant over-wash, limited beach access due to tides, back road flooding, and flooding from rain,” Cape Lookout warned, adding that people on the Outer Banks could be “cut off for a day or two.”
Park officials said this is not the week to visit the Outer Banks.
“The combination of two major storms and a king tide at the same time will create hazardous conditions on the islands,” officials said. “We currently expect that the islands will see substantial overwash and flooding.”
A tropical storm watch was upgraded to a tropical storm warning Tuesday for the part of North Carolina coast and 8 inches of rain are likely — from the Topsail Beach area down to South Carolina.
The tropical storm warning is for Wednesday night through Thursday for Coastal Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender counties.
Isolated tornadoes will also be possible, closest to the coast, officials warned.
A storm surge watch is also in effect for Washington, Belhaven and Aurora.
Passenger ferry service from Beaufort to Shackleford and Harkers Island to Cape Lookout will be suspended for Wednesday and Thursday due to the forecast weather conditions from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Idalia arriving in the area.