Outer Banks mostly spared Elsa’s wrath; rough surf, rip currents continue

Rough surf off Hatteras village following Tropical Storm Elsa on July 9, 2021. [courtesy Surfchex/Outer Beaches Realty]

For the most part Tropical Storm Elsa did not cause any serious issues along the Outer Banks, other than a bit of rain, strong winds and at least one confirmed tornado on the mainland.

There are still a few lingering effects being felt Friday, with rough surf on the south-facing beaches and a strong cross current running up the east-facing beaches.

A high risk of rip currents is posted for Frisco, Hatteras village and Ocracoke Island and everyone should stay out of the ocean.

The beaches off Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Bodie Island, Pea Island, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon and Buxton have a moderate risk where only experienced surf swimmers should be in the ocean.

Hyde County Emergency Management reported a tornado on the ground in the White Tail Farms neighborhood of Fairfield at 3:14 p.m. There have been no damage reports so far.


submitted video
Tropical Storm Elsa spawned a tornado that touched down in the White Tail Farms area of Fairfield in Hyde County on July 8, 2021. [photo courtesy Lindsey Mooney]

Some minor roof damage along with a few downed trees and power lines was reported in southern Camden County.

A few scattered power outages were reported in the area, with around 150 customers in the dark in Dare and Currituck counties combined late Thursday.

Sustained winds of 46 mph were recorded on the Pamlico Sound Thursday night, while the highest wind gust was at Kitty Hawk Kites Resort in Waves of 63 mph at 9:58 p.m.

Rainfall totals ranged between one-half and two inches in northeastern North Carolina.

Elsa became a tropical storm on July 1, the earliest ever for the fifth named tropical cyclone of the year to form in the Atlantic, breaking the record set in 2020 by Eduardo.

It reached hurricane status twice before making landfall Wednesday on the northwest Florida coast, and was moving through the northeastern United States on Friday morning.

National Weather Service forecast for Nags Head, as of Friday 8:30 a.m.:

Today
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. South wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tonight
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8pm, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. West wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Saturday
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. West wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Saturday Night
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. South wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. South wind 8 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Sunday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 76.
Monday
Sunny, with a high near 89.
Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 76.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 90.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 76.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 90.
Wednesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 75.
Thursday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.

 

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Sam Walker is news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3. Reach him at swalker3@jammediallc.com