Ophelia whacks East Coast with whipping winds, flooding

FOX Weather's Brandy Campbell, Nicole Valdes and Jane Minar report from throughout North Carolina, Virginia and New York.

From North Carolina up to New York, FOX Weather stationed crews along the coastline to capture how Americans are faring during Tropical Storm Ophelia.

FOX Weather multimedia journalist Brandy Campbell was stationed in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, which lies just 100 miles northeast of where Ophelia made landfall on Saturday morning.

Early in the day, Campbell stood before gray skies and aggressive waves pounding the beach of Cape Hatteras. She covered her head with the hood of her rain jacket and donned goggles for protection, as powerful winds with speeds around 35 mph kicked up sand around her.

"I am covered in sand, it's all up in my hair; it's everywhere," she said.

As the day progressed, the wind died down, reducing the amount of sand blowing around Campbell, allowing her to remove her goggles. The skies began to clear, and the sun peeked through the clouds by Saturday afternoon, but the waves were still quite active.

North of Campbell in Norfolk, Virginia, FOX Weather correspondent Nicole Valdes noted that a combination of tidal flooding and heavy rain from Ophelia could spell trouble for many residents.


City officials expect the rivers and bays surrounding Norfolk to rise up to 6 feet, potentially presenting a grave flood threat for the low-lying area. Concerns about Ophelia’s impacts led state officials to declare a state of emergency for Virginia on Friday.

Valdes said the declaration helped cue city leaders to close flood gates that surround areas, such as Norfolk, to help minimize the amount of floodwater to damage the cities. Additionally, officials have encouraged residents who may have parked in flood-prone areas to move their cars to higher ground by bringing them into parking garages free of charge.

FOX Weather meteorologist Jane Minar covered the impacts of Ophelia from beaches in the New York City borough of Queens. Minar reported that while the weather conditions on Saturday morning were pretty calm, the rain and wind were beginning to pick up. In fact, she said the wind had blown her hat off at one point.


The powerful wind was creating high surf conditions, preventing some surfers from venturing out into the waters. However, Minar spoke with one surfer who did give the rough waters a shot this morning.

"I would not recommend it to anybody right now," he said to Minar. "We have really solid surf, but it’s not just large, it’s really rough, lots of currents, heavy winds, rain, all that, but I had fun."