Danielle Heads North; Three Buildings Destroyed
HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) _ Tropical Storm Danielle battered North Carolina’s barrier islands today with strong winds and waves that knocked down three beach houses. Other states in the storm’s path were braced.
At noon, Danielle stood about 35 miles southeast of Virginia Beach, Va., and heading north at about 9 mph toward the Delmarva Peninsula, spanning Delaware and parts of Maryland and Virginia.
″With high ... tides during the next several days and strong northeast winds expected across the region, there is the possibility of significant tidal flooding,″ said Tony Petrolito, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Norfolk, Va.
Danielle began this morning to flood areas of Virginia Beach. Roads into a low-lying community were closed Thursday night to everyone except emergency crews and residents, police dispatcher Merlin Swartzentruber said.
Gale and coastal flood warnings as well as tropical storm watches were posted as far north as Rhode Island. Tropical storm warnings were in effect from Oregon Inlet, N.C., to Sandy Hook, N.J.
Rainfall totals of 4 to 6 inches are possible in Danielle’s path and the storm was accompanied by 60 mph winds, the weather service said, adding that it expected little change in the storm’s strength in the next 24 hours.
″What people have to remember is that this is not a major storm,″ said Clay Stamp, assistant supervisor of the emergency medical services in Ocean City, Md.
In New Jersey, officials kept a wary eye on the storm, closing a few roads and, in one town, schools.
John Polack, the manager of a restaurant on the boardwalk in Bradley Beach, N.J., said people checked the boardwalk ″and they were kind of relieved.″
He said the high tide wasn’t as bad as everybody expected. ″But it’s the evening high tide we’re really worried about,″ he said. ″They said the wind is supposed to be 50 miles an hour. And if it is, that’s when it took half our beach during the last storm in Halloween.″
No evacuations were ordered and none were planned in North Carolina, said Renee Hoffman, spokeswoman for the state Division of Emergency Management.
Waves broke through dunes in many places along North Carolina’s Outer Banks at high tide Thursday night.
An unoccupied cottage in the village of Rodanthe and two houses in south Nags Head collapsed Thursday night, officials said. The buildings were among those damaged by a storm last Halloween.
″We basically have been waiting for it to go,″ Nags Head Deputy Fire Chief Lowell Spivey said.
Beverly Bull, manager of the Cape Hatteras Motel at Buxton, said Thursday night that guests were moved from one room because waves were hitting the building.
The high tide was running 3 to 5 feet above normal but ″this isn’t the tide we’re worried about. We’re worried about the tide tomorrow pushed up by the winds,″ she said.
Residents compared the storm to others that visit the Outer Banks every autumn and winter.
″It’s nothing really bad,″ said truck driver Scott Eatmon.
Forecasters today also tracked Hurricane Charley, far out in the Atlantic.
Charley developed a well-defined eye Thursday and had winds of 100 mph. The system first reached hurricane strength - with top sustained winds of 74 mph - west of the Azores on Wednesday.
At 11 a.m. EDT today, Charley was about 395 miles west-southwest of the Azores. The hurricane was virtually stationary.