Beryl sparks deluge of rain

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Residents of northeastern North Carolina, including the Roanoke-Chowan area, are advised to keep up-to-date with today’s weather as a tropical depression makes its way up the southeastern coast.

Heavy rainfall associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl has led the National Weather Service to issue a Special Weather Statement as of 9:11 a.m. today (Wednesday). As of that hour a band of moderate to occasionally heavy rain is developing from Virginia Beach to Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Gatesville, Ahoskie, Edenton and Windsor. This band of rain is developing ahead of Tropical Depression Beryl and will remain over the area through 11 a.m.

Due to the flooding possibility, education officials in Bertie and Hertford counties have opted to send students and staff home early. Bertie Schools will release at noon; Hertford County will end their school day at 1 p.m. Gates County School officials were meeting as of 10 a.m. this morning as to whether or not close their schools early. Northampton Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said he was closely monitoring the storm and the rainfall amounts, but had yet to make a decision regarding an early release of students and staff.

According to the National Weather Service, the primary rain bands associated with Beryl will reach northeastern North Carolina around 11 a.m. Rainfall rates up to one inch per hour are expected this morning and early afternoon. This will result in rainfall accumulations of 2 to 3 inches for locations across southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina. A few isolated areas in northeast North Carolina could receive slightly higher amounts of rain.

This long duration rainfall will cause minor flooding this afternoon of low lying areas, including ditches, roadways and areas of poor drainage. Avoid these areas and do not cross flooded roads. Motorists should also reduce driving speeds to avoid hydroplaning.

The NWS has issued a flood watch for several eastern ‘Carolina counties, to include Beaufort, Carteret, Dare, Hyde, Greene, Lenoir, Martin, Pamlico, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington.

Beryl, the second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season that doesn’t officially begin until Friday, made landfall on Memorial Day near Jacksonville, Fla. The northern portions of that state as well as southeastern Georgia were flooded with up to 10 inches of rain.