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Tropical Storm Idalia passed by early this morning, but dangerous marine conditions remain

Downed tree off 23rd Street during Tropical Storm Idalia.
Ellie Coleman
Downed tree off 23rd Street during Tropical Storm Idalia.

On Wednesday evening, Cape Fear region residents started to feel the impacts of Tropical Storm Idalia, but New Hanover County fared well, according to emergency management officials.

*Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that two tornadoes briefly touched down Wednesday evening in Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

The storm, which was roughly 20 miles off the southeastern coast when it passed around 6 a.m. Thursday morning did flood some streets, down trees, and cause power outages.

As of Thursday morning, there were about 5,000 county residents without power; however, around mid-afternoon, that number was down to only 50.

New Hanover County resident, Ellie Coleman, who lives off Princess Place said the storm knocked out power at their home for 10 hours. Coleman finally got connected back to power around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Steven Still, the county’s Director of Emergency Management, said people should remain vigilant throughout the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

“We're going to continue to have dangerous marine conditions for the foreseeable future, at least until Tuesday. [...] Be careful in and about the water this weekend. If you're uncomfortable with your swimming abilities, don't chance it, and don't venture out," he said.

Those dangerous conditions are large swells and the increased presence of rip currents. If you’re caught in one, swim parallel to shore until you can safely get out of the water.

How to escape a rip current
How to escape a rip current

At a 1:00 press briefing, Still also said that teams with the National Weather Service (NWS) were still working on determining whether tornadoes touched down near the towns of Carolina Beach and Leland. So far, no significant damage had been reported.

As of Thursday evening, the NWS did confirm that an EF1 tornado briefly touched down at 7:25 on Wednesday evening in Brunswick County. Another tornado of this size briefly touched down at 7:31 in southern New Hanover County.

A spokesperson for the National Weather Service said to also expect some river flooding into the weekend. For example, the Little Pee Dee River at Galivants Ferry in Orry County, South Carolina, will see major flooding, reaching 12 feet, possibly. Moderate flooding is expected for the Northeast Cape Fear River near Burgaw and the Black Creek near Quinby.

Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR
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