Are You Ready for Joaquin?
Joaquin strengthened to a major storm (category 3 or higher) overnight Wednesday and could slam the Bahamas as a category 4 hurricane. The current official forecast track released by the National Weather Service has Joaquin passing just east of the Carolina shore; however, several computer models are trending west with the storm’s track, some bringing it through eastern and central North Carolina.
Heavy Rain and Flooding in Central and Eastern NC
Even though the well-respected European model (ECMWF) keeps Joaquin offshore, the cold front that passed through the Carolinas on Wednesday has become stationary just offshore. This front is the catalyst for a low pressure system forming off the coast of Georgia, the strength and dynamics of which will have a dramatic impact on the ultimate path for Joaquin. Several forecasting models have the low pressure system pulling the storm on shore near Cape Hatteras. If Joaquin does make landfall, heavy rain and wind exasperated by already saturated soils will cause major issues throughout North Carolina and Virginia.
Regardless of the exact track of Joaquin, North Carolina, Virginia, and much of the Mid Atlantic should prepare for potentially historic rainfall amounts as the low pressure system draws copious amounts of tropical moisture well inland. Five to nine inches of rain will not be uncommon this weekend, and local amounts of ten inches or more are expected in central and eastern North Carolina. Those rainfall amounts combined with already saturated soil, swollen rivers, and streams will lead to an increased risk of flash flooding risks throughout the weekend.
Now is the Time to Prepare
Now is the time to prepare for the storm. Make sure your emergency kit is well stocked, your vehicle and generator is full of fuel, and you have plenty of non-perishable foods available. Know your evacuation route if you live on the coast or in a flood prone area. If Joaquin does track closer to the coast, anticipate the increased winds by tying down loose lawn ornaments and furniture.
Download our Free Hurricane Preparedness Checklist to help guide your preparedness for this and future storm systems. Our guide includes additional storm recovery information. Visit our services page for more information and resources regarding Remtech’s ability to help with natural disaster preparedness and recovery for this and future storms.