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Tropical Storm Arthur forms near Florida

This is a photo from space of Hurricane Floyd.
This is a photo from space of Hurricane Floyd.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says the first tropical storm has formed off the coast of Florida. As of 11 a.m. Arthur had formed and it has winds of 40 MPH. The storm is about 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral and is moving to the northwest at 2 mph. A tropical storm watch has been issued for portions of the eastern Florida coast. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches, with as much as 4 inches can be expected over areas of Florida.

The storm is expected to become a hurricane and be just off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. on Friday, July 4th with winds around 80 mph.

Anyone along the Southeastern coast of the United States should listen to updates about this storm. Expect rip currents if you are in the coastal waters. Rip currents are strong currents that can cause drowning’s by pulling the swimmer out to sea. The current can have speeds of up to 8 feet per second. If caught in a rip current you should swim parallel to the shoreline until you have exited the current.

Another danger from hurricanes is the flooding that they can cause. Flooding can come from the storm surge as well as rivers, streams and pond.

A storm surge will occur as the storm makes landfall or the winds blow toward the shoreline for an extended period of time. The storm surge from the hurricane can be the most dangerous part of the storm. Many people drown from the storm surge by trying to “ride out” the storm.

Inland flooding of rivers and streams are extremely dangerous. The problem with the flooding of roads is you have no idea how deep the water is. Looking at the water on the road can me misleading. It may look to be only a few inches deep when in reality the road is washed out and it is several feet deep. It only takes a little depth of fast moving water to sweep away a vehicle. Never drive across a flooded road or highway. Turn around and find another way to get to your destination.

If you live in a low laying area that is subject to flash flooding you should pay attention to local evacuation orders from your local authorities. Follow their recommendations. When you evacuate, do not forget your pets.

For more safety information you can visit the Red Cross website.

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