Tropical Depression 8 spinning 35 mph off the North Carolina Coast is not a likely threat to beaches from the Crystal Coast to Surf City, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Lonka told The Daily News. The system would generate swell through the week, however, and douse the coast with sporadic showers, he added.
The tropical depression’s approach likely would bring rain, but not strong wind, Lonka said.
“We’re not expecting direct impacts from this tropical disturbance. The main impacts are going to be rough surf and a high threat of rip currents over the next several days,” he said. Erosion, he added, mainly would be in the Outer Banks. A break in tropical weather would ensue before the potential for another system, dubbed Tropical Depression 9, to have some brunt in Eastern N.C.
“We could have higher impacts with that one later in the week,” he said.
In Emerald Isle, which employs a beach patrol team, there have been few rescues since the swell’s arrival, Fire Chief Bill Walker said.
“We only had one water rescue the last two-to-three days,” Walker said. “It’s been moderate. I think, due to the fact that we’re a south-facing beach, we’re not getting the brunt like Nags Head.”
Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush also said the tropical system has levied “nothing out of the ordinary.”
Right now, lifeguards in Emerald Isle are flying orange flags to advise swimmers to enter the ocean with caution.
“We’ve not red-flagged it yet,” Walker said. “We’ll red-flag the beach if we have to advise you to stay out of the water.”
As the swell continues to build, he advised swimmers to heed caution in the surf.
“If you have a question, call us or stop and ask a lifeguard,” he said.
For more information, call town hall at 252-354-3424 or visit EmeraldIsle-NC.org.
The tropical depression is having meager impact to Sneads Ferry’s fishing fleet, said Randy Millis of Mitchell Seafood and a longtime fisherman in the Stump Sound area.
“It might stop the offshore guys from going outside a few days because of the swell,” Millis said. “It’s going to push a big swell in here for us. Right now, it’s not having a big effect. We’re praying that doesn’t change.”
He added that the rain might “flush” shrimp from the river.
For more information on the storm systems, visit the National Hurricane Center at NHC.NOAA.gov.