Faded sign in Williamson, West Virginia
Faded sign welcomes drivers to Williamson, West Virginia. Reuters

Tropical Storm Ophelia is gaining force after it formed off the Atlantic coast late Friday, threatening to bring heavy rain, storm surges and strong winds, prompting governors from Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina to sign States of Emergency.

Over the weekend, the center of Ophelia is forecast to move across eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said.


In Maryland, Governor Wes Moore, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, signed Executive Order 01.01.2023.13 after the Maryland Department of Emergency Services advised of impending impact of severe weather predicted in Maryland which could result in strong winds, tidal surge, inland flooding and isolated tornadoes. The executive order states this weather can begin on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. The document says this Executive Order waives specific regulations to facilitate emergency responses and restoration activities.


Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Declared a State of Emergency Ahead of Tropical Storm Ophelia on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. The release states Ophelia is an unusual storm that has been hard to forecast, but it is approaching large population centers with many at-risk communities. The release said Virginian residents should prepare for the storm to persist until Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, which could cause severe rainfall, flooding, wind damage, tornadoes and other storm-related impacts. The state emergency allows the commonwealth to mobilize resources and equipment needed for response and recovery efforts, according to the release from the governor of Virginia.

"As this storm has organized and strengthened, it's becoming clear based on the latest forecasts that impacts to the commonwealth are likely," said Governor Glenn Youngkin. "We want to ensure that all communities, particularly those with the greatest anticipated impact, have the resources they need to respond and recover from the effects of this storm. Since this storm has the potential to have a range of impacts across numerous localities in the commonwealth, I encourage all Virginians and visitors to keep up with the latest forecast for their area from a trusted source, make a plan, and have their emergency kits ready."

North Carolina

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also signed a State of Emergency ahead of Ophelia, warning of possible flash and coastal flooding. The executive order temporarily waives transportation regulations regarding the movement of livestock and agricultural products. Additionally, the order waivers expedition preparations in anticipation of storm Ophelia and provides for swift response and recovery.

"It is important for North Carolinians to prepare for potential impacts from the coming storm," said Governor Cooper. "The storm's path has been difficult to predict and we want to ensure that farmers, first responders and utility crews have the tools necessary to prepare for severe weather."

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