People planning to swim or sail in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina may want to reconsider, at least for a few days.
Despite Hurricane Irma’s latest projected path being considerably favorable for North Carolina, the U.S. Coast Guard still issued a warning Saturday afternoon urging sailors off the N.C. coast to use extreme caution.
Potentially significant effects along the state’s coastline include large surf, flooding and tropical storm winds late Sunday into early Monday and maybe as late as Tuesday, according to the Coast Guard.
“Mariners should submit a voyage plan with family and/or friends, ensure they have the proper safety equipment, with (personal floatation devices) for everyone aboard and flares,” Coast Guard Cmdr. Quincy L. Davis, deputy sector commander for Sector North Carolina, said in a news release. “We also urge mariners to have proper communication equipment, preferably a radio appropriate for the marine environment.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, at a press conference earlier Saturday, warned of dangerous rip currents along the coast.
As Irma moves north along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the storm is expected to push waves of 20 feet and higher up the East Coast, according to ABC11 meteorologist Steve Stewart.
“We’ll watch these swells coming up towards us as we go into Monday night and Tuesday,” Stewart said. “Along our coastline, even though the storm’s going to be a long ways away, we’ll be dealing with some significant seas.”