September 15, 2016 7:34:49 am
Slow-moving Tropical Storm Julia is expected to meander along the Atlantic coast where Georgia and South Carolina meet, dumping rain, but not posing major threats.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center reported Wednesday evening that the storm to bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to the South Carolina coast.
Earlier forecasts estimated twice as much rain. Still, any rain could pose a risk of flooding in an area soaked by Hermine less than two weeks ago.
Schools and government offices remained open as the storm, which formed late Tuesday afternoon along Florida’s Atlantic coast, skirted across Jacksonville and moved north, bringing rain and tropical winds to much of southern Georgia.
Julia is moving at about 6 mph (9 kph), and forecasters say it will meander near northern Georgia and southern South Carolina coastlines into Friday.
According to the hurricane center’s latest advisory, Julia had 40 mph (65 kph) maximum sustained winds and was located about 35 miles (55 kilometers) from Savannah, Georgia.
No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.
Some minor street flooding was reported early Wednesday in Brunswick, Georgia, and on nearby Sea Island. Winds from Julia also downed some limbs and caused power outages on St. Simons Island, said Jay Wiggins, emergency management director for Glynn County. But the worst wind and rainfall had subsided by daybreak Wednesday as the storm passed to the northwest.
“We were very lucky once again,” Wiggins said. “Really it was not much of an issue for us.”
Up the coast, Principal Patrick Rossiter of Tybee Island Maritime Academy said he was keeping close tabs on the latest storm reports and radar Wednesday.
Rossiter said he walked to the school near Savannah in stiff, swirling winds and a steady drizzle.
“If things worsen, we hunker down right here,” he told The Associated Press by phone. But as students arrived for classes he said, “so far, everything is a go.”
Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman said, “We’re flying our double red flags at the beach, which basically means the beach is closed.” Buelterman said officials hope the downpour won’t drench the island when the tide peaks at 6:30 p.m.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Ian was moving north in the central Atlantic but still was no threat to land. In the Pacific, Hurricane Orlene continued to weaken.
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