Hermine threatens from Gulf

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hermine seems bent on destroying the Labor Day weekend for those hoping to soak up the last rays of summer.

A tropical storm watch was placed in effect Thursday evening for Suffolk and the surrounding area while Hermine was upgraded to a hurricane and continued to churn in the Gulf of Mexico toward the U.S. coast.

Alec Butner, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the storm will affect Suffolk starting early Friday evening and continuing through Saturday.

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Peak sustained winds will be around 25 to 35 miles per hour, he said, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour.

Three to five inches of rain are expected for Suffolk, with some locally heavier amounts. The storm could help re-hydrate an area that has mostly lacked rain for the last month or so.

“It’s good for some of the areas,” Butner said.

Some localized storm surge and flash flooding also is possible, Butner said. Suffolk and surrounding areas are also under a flash flood watch.

“There could be the potential for a couple tornadoes,” Butner added. “We can’t rule that out with these tropical systems.”

The storm was expected to make landfall in northern Florida late Thursday, then weaken as it moved up the East Coast. It should move offshore of northeastern North Carolina on Saturday morning while remaining a tropical storm, but the effects will be felt in Hampton Roads all day.