Tropical Storm Chris Brings Rough Surf and Dangerous Rip Currents to NC

State Officials Monitoring Storm Closely

As Tropical Storm Chris swirls off the North Carolina coast, emergency officials are monitoring the storm carefully and warning coastal residents and vacationers to be cautious. Already, the storm is churning up heavy seas and dangerous surf, which claimed the life of one beachgoer on the Outer Banks this weekend.

“We are saddened that rough waters have tragically claimed a life, and I urge people along our coast to be cautious, especially if they plan to be in and on the water,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “While we do not expect major impacts from this storm, we will continue to watch it closely.”

Many North Carolina beaches are closed to swimming due to heavy surf and dangerous rip currents caused by Tropical Storm Chris. Beachgoers are reminded to heed warning flags and signs and obey the instructions of lifeguards and local officials.

This morning, Tropical Storm Chris is located approximately 200 miles south southeast of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Chris is forecast to meander off the coast of North Carolina for another day before beginning to accelerate northeast into the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday and Thursday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Chris is expected to become a hurricane late today or tonight (July 9, 2018).

Currently there are no watches or warnings in effect. The primary threat to the North Carolina coast is the swells generated by the tropical storm force winds. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Minor beach erosion and ocean overwash is also possible.

“Local officials and the Department of Transportation are prepared to deal with any minor flooding or overwash issues that might arise,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

Residents and vacationers along the North Carolina coast should be aware and keep a close eye on the weather forecast. More information on tropical weather and preparedness can be found in the ReadyNC mobile app and online at

The latest “Beach Hazards Statement” from the National Weather Service may be found here.

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