Impact of Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia: Heavy Rain Sweeps Across Northeastern United States

Date: September 30, 2023

Location: Northeast, United States


Post-tropical cyclone Ophelia, once a formidable storm, has left its mark on the Northeastern United States, unleashing heavy rains and causing widespread concerns over flooding and power outages. In this article, we delve into the aftermath of Ophelia’s journey across the region.

Flash Flood Threat Looms


As Ophelia transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone, it maintained its ability to trigger flash flooding along the Mid-Atlantic coast, stretching from Washington, D.C., to New York. The National Hurricane Center’s final advisory, issued at 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, warned that some areas in the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England could receive between 1 and 3 inches of rainfall.

> "The swells generated by Ophelia will likely continue to produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along the East Coast."

A Lingering Threat

While Ophelia weakens, another storm, tropical storm Philippe, is forming in the Atlantic. As of Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, Philippe was located 1,225 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west-northwest with maximum winds of 50 mph. No watches or warnings related to Philippe have been issued as of yet, but it remains a storm to monitor.

Declared States of Emergency

The impact of Ophelia prompted state governors to take action. Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia declared states of emergency as they braced for heavy rains and potential flooding. Coastal flooding remained a significant threat in parts of the Chesapeake Bay, with heavy rain from Ophelia posing a risk of flash flooding from Virginia to New Jersey.

Climate Change Amplifies the Issue

Floods have become a recurrent and increasingly severe issue across most of the U.S., with climate change contributing to more extreme precipitation and rising sea levels. Ophelia’s heavy rainfall serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address climate-related challenges.

Power Outages Hit Hard

Ophelia recap: Storm brings flooding, power outages

The havoc caused by Ophelia extended beyond flooding. Nearly 8,000 customers in Maryland and 4,700 customers in Pennsylvania were without power on Sunday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages across the country. Power restoration efforts were underway, but it showcased the extent of the storm’s impact.

Record-Breaking Rainfall


In Raleigh, North Carolina, Ophelia shattered records by dumping over 3 inches of rain on Saturday, surpassing the daily record set in 1906 by more than an inch. Fuquay-Varina, a town south of Raleigh, received nearly 5 inches of rainfall. Central and southern Virginia also faced significant rainfall, accumulating between 3 and 5 inches over the weekend.

Coastal Flooding Concerns

Ophelia targets Northeast after coastal flooding reported in mid-Atlantic

Coastal areas, particularly the Delaware beaches, were not spared. A coastal flood advisory was issued until 9 p.m. ET, with the National Weather Service expecting over a foot of rising water near shorelines and tidal waterways.

In the wake of post-tropical cyclone Ophelia’s heavy rainfall, the Northeastern United States finds itself grappling with the immediate aftermath. With flash flood threats, power outages, and record-breaking rainfall, the region serves as a reminder of the challenges posed by extreme weather events and the importance of climate change mitigation efforts.

Stay tuned for further updates as authorities work to manage the situation and provide assistance to affected communities.

Keywords: Ophelia, post-tropical cyclone, flash flooding, power outages, climate change, record-breaking rainfall, coastal flooding, Northeastern United States.

Additional Ophelia Updates

Will Tropical Storm Ophelia weaken by Sunday?

The big question: Will Tropical Storm Ophelia weaken by Sunday?

Forecasters anticipate a weakening of the storm by Sunday, though the threat of heavy rain persists along a swath from southeastern Pennsylvania to Long Island. Coastal regions in North Carolina bore the brunt of Ophelia’s impact with heavy rainfall and winds approaching hurricane force as the storm made landfall. Its journey northward is expected to come with a gradual weakening as it heads towards other states.

Did Tropical Storm Ophelia overflow the Tidal Basin in Washington?

Yes, it did. On Saturday, the Tidal Basin in Washington saw its banks overflow due to the relentless rain brought by Tropical Storm Ophelia. Residents of Washington, North Carolina, received a stern warning to "avoid the downtown area" as the storm unleashed a storm surge of about 3 to 4 feet, causing waters to inundate the city’s boardwalk area, as stated in a city Facebook post.

How did Tropical Storm Ophelia affect North Carolina?

Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall near Emerald Isle, N.C., on Saturday, unleashing high winds that resulted in widespread power outages affecting thousands of residents. Additionally, the storm brought significant flooding that led to road closures in parts of the Mid-Atlantic. Along the North Carolina coast, tropical storm conditions prevailed as Ophelia continued its northward path.

Is Ophelia moving up the east coast?

Indeed, Ophelia, currently a post-tropical cyclone, is progressing northward along the East Coast. As it travels, it carries the risk of heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and hazardous surf conditions from North Carolina to New Jersey.

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