Mon, Sep 05, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Hermine kills two on US east coast

AP, WASHINGTON

Water from Roanoke Sound pounds the Virginia Dare Trail in Manteo, North Carolina, on Saturday.

Photo: AP

Tropical Storm Hermine was intensifying on Saturday as it moved slowly up the Atlantic coast with heavy rain, wind and storm surges making a mess.

Hermine had caused two deaths, damaged homes and businesses and left hundreds of thousands without electricity from Florida to Virginia.

“This is not a beach weekend for anyone in the Mid-Atlantic to the northeast,” said Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.

At 2pm on Saturday, Hermine was centered 145km east of Duck, North Carolina, with top sustained winds of 110kph, moving east at 17kph.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect as far north as Connecticut, with dangerous storm surges expected along the coast from Virginia to New Jersey. Governors all along the coast announced emergency preparations.

Hermine rose up over the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane, hitting Florida and then crossing over Georgia on Friday.

The winds were so strong on Saturday in North Carolina that all bridges to the Outer Banks were closed following a deadly accident over the intracoastal waterway.

Tyrell County Sheriff Darryl Liverman told the Virginian-Pilot that high winds tipped over an 18-wheeler, killing its driver and shutting down the US 64 bridge.

On Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, a tornado spawned by Hermine knocked over two trailers and injured four people, officials said.

In Florida, a homeless man died from a falling tree.

Forecasters said the system could strengthen back into a hurricane by today off the Maryland-Delaware coast before weakening again as it moves north.

The timing could not be worse for towns along the coast hoping for revenue from Labor Day events.

In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where the beach was closed to foot traffic and swimming prohibited on Saturday, traffic was lighter than normal, said Jim Derrick, whose family businesses include a mini-golf course, sea-shell store, indoor bounce house and ice cream shop.

“This weekend would normally be a parking lot,” he said in a telephone interview.

He called the weekend “definitely disappointing,” although his bounce house was packed.

Elsewhere along Hermine’s path, people were having decidedly less fun.

In Savannah, Georgia, Bacon Fest was canceled on Friday and Saturday’s Craft Brew Fest was moved indoors.

Swimmers were ordered out of the surf in New Jersey.

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