Hurricane Matthew’s track still in question, but heavy rain and flooding highly likely is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

On Tuesday, Hurricane Matthew was over Cuba, taking a westward track toward the east coast of the United States, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

There is still much unknown about how the storm will affect southeastern North Carolina.

The National Weather Service of Wilmington’s morning briefing on Tuesday noted the effect of the storm along the Carolinas’ coasts could be high winds, a storm surge and flooding and even some tornadoes. However, the current confidence in the storm track is deemed limited by the agency. That means the storm’s direction could change over the next few days.

The storm’s strength, as it moves over land, then water, and vice versa, will also change.

The one thing forecasters are very confident about, however, is the likelihood of large waves, dangerous boating conditions, rip currents and the high potential for beach erosion. Inlet entrances will pose an especially hazardous situation, according to the report.

Now is the time to prepare, according to both the National Weather Service and the North Carolina Emergency Management Agency. The worst conditions would come with a direct hit.

A direct hit from the storm would happen between late Friday and Saturday morning; in that case, storm conditions would persist into Sunday.

A direct hit would bring several issues. High winds could damage roofs, down trees and powerlines, which could lead to prolonged power outages. Storm surges would bring large, battering waves.

But, even without a direct hit, heavy rains will be falling at the outer edges of the storm. Already saturated grounds around rivers and streams may rapidly overflow, the report notes.

“Some uncertainty remains, but overall there is general agreement within the models bringing Matthew to, or near, the Carolina coast at the end of the week,” the report states. “It is plausible that high wind, surge, and flood impacts could occur at the end of the week as Matthew makes its closest approach to the area. Impacts would be greatest on Saturday given the current forecast.

“All residents should begin taking initial preparation steps today. Be ready to ramp-up,” it states.

In addition, forecasters are also tracking a new storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, which has formed in the tropics.

More Hurricane Matthew related news

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Governor Pat McCrory advises North Carolinians to prepare for Hurricane Matthew

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