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Post-tropical cyclone Ophelia unleashes heavy rain across Northeast

A vehicle moves through a flooded intersection following heavy rains from Tropical Storm Ophelia on Sept. 24 in Crisfield, Md.
Chip Somodevilla
Getty Images
A vehicle moves through a flooded intersection following heavy rains from Tropical Storm Ophelia on Sept. 24 in Crisfield, Md.

Updated September 24, 2023 at 6:02 PM ET

Ophelia, now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, still poses a risk of flash flooding along the Mid-Atlantic coast from Washington, D.C., to New York on Sunday.

It its final advisoryon Ophelia, from 5 a.m. ET Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said it expects some areas in the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England to receive between 1 and 3 inches of rainfall. The swells generated by Ophelia will likely continue to produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along the East Coast.

As Ophelia weakens, tropical storm Philippe continues to form in the Atlantic. As of Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, the storm was 1,225 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands, traveling west-northwest with maximum winds of 50 mph, thehurricane center said. No watches or warnings related to Philippe have been issued.

Ophelia was downgraded from a tropical depression to a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday night. The center discontinued all storm surge and tropical storm warnings on Saturday.

Coastal flooding will continue to be a threat in portions of the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday. Heavy rain from Ophelia will also pose a risk of flash flooding from Virginia to New Jersey, according to the hurricane center.

Floods have become morefrequent and severe in most of the U.S. due to more extreme precipitation and sea level rise from climate change.

Nearly 8,000 customers in Maryland and 4,700 customers in Pennsylvania were without power on Sunday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages across the country.

On Friday, the governors of Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia declared a state of emergency.

Ophelia unleashed heavy rain across the Northeast

Ophelia made landfall near Emerald Isle, N.C. around 6:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, with maximum winds of 70 mph, the center said.

As the storm passed through central North Carolina, winds reaching between 20 and 25 mph with greater gusts of 35 to 45 mph resulted in downed trees and more power outages, the NWS said Saturday afternoon.

In Raleigh, Ophelia dumped over 3 inches of rain on Saturday, breaking the area's daily record set in 1906 by more than an inch, according to the National Weather Service. Fuquay-Varina, a town south of Raleigh, receivednearly 5 inches of rainfall.

Over the weekend, parts of central and southern Virginia also accumulatedbetween 3 and 5 inches of rainfall.

A coastal flood advisory was also issued for the Delaware beaches until 9 p.m. ET. The NWS expectsover a foot of rising water near shorelines and tidal waterways.

The eastern portion of New Jersey, including Stafford Township and Egg Harbor City, receivedaround 4.5 inches of rain. In New York City, the downpour accumulatedbetween 2 and 3 inches of rainfall with gusts up to 45 mph. It is expected to continue through Monday night, according to NWS.

New York City also issued a travel advisory for the weekend, warning of heavy rain and potential flooding.

In light of weather concerns, the New York Yankees postponedtheir home game on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks to Monday.

The Washington Nationals also postponed their home game against the Atlanta Braves from Saturday afternoon to the evening due to the weather. The Braves-Nationals game scheduled for Sunday evening has not been affected.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.