Goodbye Earl? Hurricane Looks To Miss Coast

by Dave on September 1, 2010

Make no mistake that the waves are rolling in and the rip currents continue to be dangerous. But will Hurricane Earl bear down on the Delaware coast, or will it roll out to sea?

Earl was downgraded early Wednesday morning to a Category 3 storm, with sustained winds at 125 miles per hour and gusts over 150 mph.

Projection maps for the storm on Wednesday morning showed the path bending out into the Atlantic with the risk lessening for the shores of the Delaware beaches.

“The impact on Sussex County will be minimal for places more than a mile away from the beaches,” says Rob Guarino, the former FOX 29 meteorologist and founder of LiveWeatherBlogs.com. “Some wind, maybe a few showers but it’s not all that bad. The rest of the weekend looks great, Friday is the day the hurricane passes the area.”

“The biggest problem will be beach erosion and rip currents on Friday,” added Guarino. “Since the storm will move faster in forward motion I do not expect any tidal flooding from the storm. We may see some minor flooding in the usual spots but not moderate or severe.”

The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to track the progress of the storm as well.

Even without a direct hit, the storm could whip up seas with 15-foot waves well off the coast, with 4- to 7-foot waves and deadly rip currents in the surf zone, according to the EOC. Meantime, the storm could brush coastal areas of Sussex County with 35 mph winds, gusting to 45 mph, and as much as an inch of rain before quickly departing the region late Friday night.

No watches or warnings have been issued at this time. However, the Sussex County EOC again reminds the public that with the approach of this storm and the peak of the 2010 hurricane season just days away, preparation is the key to minimizing damage and preventing loss of life

“We still need to keep up our guard, because a slight westward shift of 50 or 100 miles in the track of the storm’s center could make a huge difference in terms of the effects we feel and the severity of those effects,” said Joseph Thomas, Sussex County EOC director. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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