Ophelia may not hit hard

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 15, 2005

Suffolk is not expected to feel much of Hurricane Ophelia’s punch today.

‘&uot;That area shouldn’t expect a lot from Ophelia,&uot; said Keith Lynch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Wakefield, on Wednesday.

&uot;Suffolk will probably see just scattered showers and maybe an occasional thunderstorm tomorrow.&uot;

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A tropical storm warning is in effect in Suffolk, meaning the city could experience winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour. The city is expected to receive 2 to 4 inches of rainfall today,

Lynch said.

Parts of Suffolk could experience some tidal flooding, said Lt. Jim Judkins, the city’s emergency services coordinator.

The more coastal areas of Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina have been under hurricane watches and warnings respectively since 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Late Wednesday, the eye of the storm, which has churned slowly off the North Carolina coast for several days, was on track to make landfall outside of Wilmington, N.C., with winds of 85 miles per hour.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of the storm is extremely broad, putting much of the Outer Banks in the storm’s western eyewall.