On verge of hurricane status, Henri triggers rip current and rough surf warnings along NC coast


WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – The National Weather Service is warning residents and beachgoers on the North Carolina coast of rip currents and rough surf associated with Tropical Storm Henri, which was on the verge of becoming a hurricane Friday night.

Meteorologist Steven Pfaff of the weather service’s Wilmington office said swells from Henri are expected to created hazardous surf conditions at all area beaches beginning Friday and continuing on Saturday as swells from the storm intensify.

The weather service also said dangerous swimming conditions are expected given the high likelihood of rip currents. Forecasters also warned of “large breaking waves in the surf zone.”

These swells will create increased wave heights while causing occasional steep waves at inlet entrances during outgoing tides Friday night through the weekend, forecasters warned.

As of Friday evening, the system was centered in the Atlantic Ocean about 290 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Forecasters said Henri is expected to become a hurricane Friday night or Saturday.

Along the North Carolina coast, a coastal flood advisory is in effect as minor coastal flooding at the beaches is possible Saturday evening with high tide.

Flooding is possible Friday night in Wilmington along Battleship Road and USS North Carolina Road, the weather service warned. In downtown, sections of Water Street may experience minor flooding up to a half foot in depth.

There is also a small craft advisory with waves up to 8 feet in the coastal waters.

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