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Beachgoers face increased rip current risk following Isaias

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 10:10 PM EDT
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EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WITN) - While many across the east are picking up the pieces left from Hurricane Isaias, leaders in at least one beach community along the largely-spared coast now face concerns about increased rip currents after the storm.

As people flock to the beach after Isaias rolled over the coast of eastern Carolina, the town of Emerald Isle is warning those beachgoers that just because the storm is gone doesn’t mean the same for hazardous surf conditions.

One researcher from the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences says that rip current risks can remain high for up to two weeks after a major tropical event like Hurricane Isaias. Even Tuesday after the storm passed rescue crews in the town said they saw an increase in people who rode out the storm inside wanting to get out, go to the beach, and get in dangerous waters.

William Matthias, Ocean Rescue coordinator says, “As the day progressed we did see an increase of people going into the water, and unfortunately little kids going into the water as parents stayed up on the beach strand. Just addressing those individuals and those groups as best we can and advising them those water conditions are still hazardous.”

The town of Emerald Isle says yellow flags were flown Wednesday in conjunction with the National Weather Service’s forecast for moderate rip current risks.

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