Southeast Coast Storm Preparedness: Flooding, Wind, and Rainfall Expectations

2023-12-17 11:45:05

An intense storm is expected to strengthen as it moves up the Southeast coast Sunday. Some flooding and strong winds are likely across the Wilmington area.

Residents are urged to use caution while driving and to be prepared for some power outages.

Here’s what you can expect and how you should prepare:


Rain is expected to last unto Monday morning. Three to four inches are expected across the region with local amounts of four to six inches possible.


The highest tidal levels will likely occur during the daytime high tide on Sunday, especially along the coast, according to the weather service. The highest tidal levels in downtown Wilmington and the lower Cape Fear River basin areas may occur during the Sunday night high tide.

Minor to Moderate coastal flooding means 2 to 3 feet of inundation is possible in normally dry areas near beaches, tidal creeks and rivers, and other low-lying coastal areas. Water levels could be locally higher if heavy rainfall is occurring at high tide.

Road flooding

On Figure Eight Island, Oyster Catcher Road and Beach Road may be affected by flooding.

Water is expected to reach North Lumina Avenue in Wrightsville Beach. At Carolina Beach, Canal Drive from Starfish Lane northward may not be accessible. Flooding also may reach the Carolina Beach State Park parking lot and building near the docks.

In Pender County, the south end of Topsail Beach and from the north of Jolly Roger Pier to the south end of Surf City. The north end of Surf City near the county line may also potentially be susceptible to coastal flooding.

US 421 North near the Battleship North Carolina is expected to flood.

River Road south of Cape Fear Boulevard will likely be impassable, according to the National Weather Service. Roads on either side of River Road, south of River Road Park, may flood.

As of Sunday morning, Water Street was flooded between Red Cross Street and OrangeStreet.

Point Harbor Road, US 421 near Carolina Beach Road, N.C. 133 at Little Mallory Creek, and Old River Road at N.C. 133 may be impassable.


A wind advisory has been issued along the coast with gusts over 50 mph expected into Sunday night. Breezy conditions will be likely into Monday.

Some downed trees and large limbs may result in power outages.

There is a risk of isolated damaging straight-line winds and tornadoes Sunday afternoon and evening, mainly near the coast.

How to prepare

  • If you must be on the roads, allow extra time because some road flooding is possible. Do not drive around barricades or through water of unknown depth.
  • Residents who live on flood-prone property should also take action to protect their homes and belongings.
  • Residents also should secure outdoor furniture and holiday decorations.

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