Unprecedented Flooding: Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia Soaks the Northeast

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Post-tropical cyclone Ophelia made its presence felt in the Northeast, causing heavy rains, flash flooding, and coastal concerns. Here’s what you need to know about this weather event:

Ophelia’s Impact on the Northeast


Image: A vehicle moves through a flooded intersection following heavy rains from Ophelia on Sunday in Crisfield, Md.

  • On its path through the Northeast, Ophelia, previously a tropical cyclone, transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone. However, it continued to bring a significant risk of flash flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast.

  • The National Hurricane Center’s final advisory, issued at 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, warned of expected rainfall between 1 and 3 inches in some areas from the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England. This precipitation raised the threat of flash floods from Virginia to New Jersey.

  • Coastal areas faced ongoing risks, as Ophelia’s swells generated life-threatening surf and rip currents along the East Coast.

Continued Threat and Developments

  • As Ophelia weakened, the Atlantic Ocean witnessed the formation of tropical storm Philippe, with maximum winds of 50 mph. Fortunately, no watches or warnings related to Philippe have been issued as of Sunday.

  • Coastal flooding remained a concern in portions of the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday, adding to the challenges faced by the affected regions.

Widespread Consequences

  • Climate change continues to amplify the frequency and severity of floods across the United States. Extreme precipitation and rising sea levels are contributing factors, making flooding events more common and more destructive.

  • The aftermath of Ophelia left nearly 8,000 customers in Maryland and 4,700 customers in Pennsylvania without power on Sunday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages nationwide.

  • Recognizing the impending disaster, the governors of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia declared a state of emergency.

Ophelia’s Landfall and Local Impact

  • Ophelia made landfall near Emerald Isle, N.C., around 6:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, with maximum winds of 70 mph.

  • As it moved inland through central North Carolina, strong winds, ranging from 20 to 25 mph, with gusts reaching 35 to 45 mph, resulted in downed trees and additional power outages.

  • Raleigh, North Carolina, experienced significant rainfall, with Ophelia breaking the daily rainfall record set in 1906 by more than an inch. Nearby, Fuquay-Varina received nearly 5 inches of rainfall.

  • Central and southern Virginia were also affected, accumulating between 3 and 5 inches of rainfall over the weekend.

  • A coastal flood advisory was issued for the Delaware beaches, with expectations of over a foot of rising water near shorelines and tidal waterways until 9 p.m. ET.

In summary, Post-tropical cyclone Ophelia’s passage through the Northeast brought heavy rains, flash flooding, and coastal concerns. While it has weakened, the impact of this weather event highlights the ongoing challenges posed by extreme weather and the pressing need for climate change mitigation.

Stay safe, stay informed, and stay prepared for future weather events.

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Preparing for Future Storms: Climate Resilience Measures

Did Hurricane Ophelia hit New York?

The aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia in New York City?

The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia made a forceful return on Friday, prompting the declaration of a state of emergency. This emergency measure resulted in the closure of the New York City subway, major roadways, and airport terminals. During a press briefing, city officials characterized the situation as the rainiest day since Hurricane Ida. The city braced itself for the impact of Ophelia’s remnants, causing significant disruptions in transportation and daily life.

What were the effects of the Hurricane Ophelia?

The impact of Hurricane Ophelia was substantial, causing:

  • Power Outages: The storm led to widespread power outages, disrupting daily life.

  • Structural Damage: Strong winds lifted roofs and brought down numerous trees, causing structural damage.

  • Coastal Flooding: Coastal areas experienced flooding, posing risks to communities.

  • Loss of Lives: Tragically, three lives were lost due to the effects of Storm Ophelia.

In response to these challenges, all schools and many businesses chose to close for the day as the nation braced itself to weather out the storm.

Is Ophelia a hurricane or tropical storm?

The remnants of Ophelia, originally a Tropical Storm, impacted North Carolina over the weekend. While in the Northeast, these remnants have the potential to bring flooding rains on Friday. Meanwhile, tropical storms Philippe and the newly formed Rina are currently meandering east of the Caribbean, adding to the dynamic tropical weather scenario.

How powerful was Storm Ophelia?

Storm Ophelia made landfall on Saturday near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, with initial winds reaching nearly hurricane strength at 70 mph (113 kph). However, as the system moved northward, the hurricane center reported a gradual weakening of the winds.

Is the rain in NYC from Ophelia?

The New York City tri-state area faces a life-threatening situation on Friday as it grapples with heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia. These rains are deluging an already heavily saturated region, and authorities anticipate "numerous" instances of flash flooding across the area.

Why is New York City flooding?

The flooding in New York City can be attributed to heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia. The downpour has overwhelmed the region, which was already saturated, leading to widespread flooding concerns. For visual insights into the situation, you can watch this video.

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