High Winds Blow Off Store Canopy, Expose River Bottom

Strong winds today blew off a store canopy, closed some schools, and caused a river bottom to be exposed.

The canopy over several pumps at the Hess Station on West Boulevard in Williamston tipped over around 1:00 p.m. The canopy over the main pumps was not damaged.

The convenience store manager says there was no damage to the pumps themselves and the store is still open for business.

Dare County closed its schools at 1:00 p.m. because of the winds and subsequent soundside flooding, while high winds and low tides altered schedules for the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach Ferry.

The wind also exposed several hundred feet of the river bed of the Neuse River in New Bern. At Union Point Park visitors were eager to catch a glimpse of the dry river.

At 2:00 p.m. Bath reported 45 mile per hour wind gusts, 43 mph in Rocky Mount and Piney Island, a 41 mph wind gust in Windsor and 40 mph in both Cape Lookout and Hatteras.

There is a wind advisory in effect across Eastern Carolina until 10pm Wednesday. Winds of 25 top 35 mph with gusts over 40 mph will be common throughout the rest of the day.

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Dare County Schools are closing at 1:00 p.m, today because of wind and rising water on the soundside.

The school system says all after school activities and the After School Enrichment Program are canceled for today as well.