‘Ophelia’ causes damage

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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While it wasn’t as bad as originally expected, Tropical Storm Ophelia did leave some damage in her wake locally.

One home in the Colonial Acres area of Ahoskie suffered significant damage on Friday night when a large limb snapped off a towering oak tree.

Tony Marra Jr., who lives at 105 Clarendon Road, was inside his residence at 9 p.m. when a heavy gust of wind caused the limb to break.

“I heard it when it hit….the whole house shook,” Marra said. “I looked out back with a flashlight and saw the limb down on that end of the house.”

Fortunately, Marra was not in that particular portion of the residence when the limb came crashing down. The damage was mostly confined to the roof. However, one part of the limb punctured a hole in the ceiling of a bathroom, which also led to water damage.

Additionally, the fallen limb broke off an outdoor faucet, causing Marra to have to shut off his main supply of water.

As of Tuesday, Marra was awaiting the arrival of an insurance adjuster to survey the total amount of damage caused by the storm at his residence.

Elsewhere, the tropical storm was responsible for a tree falling on a home on the Jim Hardy Road in Hertford County.

Chris Smith, Hertford County’s Emergency Management Director, said there were no injuries reported.

Smith added that the county received approximately four inches of rainfall from the storm.

“The storm’s original track, once it made landfall, was supposed to come directly over Hertford County,” Smith said. “One forecast showed us getting hit with 70 mph wind gusts and up to eight inches of rain. However, the storm tracked further west than anticipated and we avoided a direct hit.”

Tony Burnette, Northampton County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that he is unaware of any residential or commercial damage there caused by the tropical storm.

There were reports of 5+ inches of rain in some parts of Northampton County.

A call to Bertie County Emergency Management was not returned.

According to the National Weather Service, an area of low pressure begin to develop on Sept. 21 and get more organized off the southeast US coastline. That low continued to deepen and become more organized, eventually taking on tropical characteristics.

Ophelia developed into a strong tropical storm on Sept. 22 and moved north over the next couple of days, making landfall during the early morning hours on Friday near Emerald Isle.

The storm eventually weakened to a Tropical Depression on Saturday evening over southern Virginia.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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