Nor'easter of 2007 peaks in intensity, continues pounding New England

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:49 PM GMT on April 16, 2007

The Nor'easter of 2007 continues to pound the Northeast U.S. today with flooding rains, high winds, and severe coastal storm surges. The storm peaked in intensity at about 8am EDT with a central pressure of 967 mb--a pressure similar to what one finds in a Category 2 hurricane. However, the nor'easter is not as tightly wound as a hurricane, and the highest winds were were 61 mph gusting to 70mph at 8am EDT on the Maine coast at Matinicus Rock. Winds were 60 mph gusting to 64 mph at the Isle of Shoals C-MAN station on the coast of New Hampshire at 7am EDT this morning.

Huge rains in New York and New Jersey
Central Park in New York City recorded 7.57 inches of rain yesterday, the most ever from a Nor'easter, and their second highest daily rainfall ever measured. The record was set on September 23rd 1882, when 8.28 inches fell during a slow-moving tropical storm. Rainfall total of 5-9 inches were common over much of New Jersey and the New York City area over the past 36 hours (Figure 1), bringing the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Floyd in 1999. Rivervale, NJ has had the most rain I could find thus far--9.3 inches.

Today's running of the Boston Marathon will be a cold, wet one, as 3-5 inches of rain have already fallen over the area, and another 1-2 inches could fall today. The heaviest rains today will affect coastal New Hampshire and Maine, where 5-8 inches are expected.

Figure 1. Total precipitation estimated by radar for the Nor'easter of 2007.

Coastal flooding
Winds from the 2007 Nor'easter pushed a 2.5 foot storm surge on top of an unusually high "Spring Tide" into the New York City area during this morning's high tide (Figure 2), and a 4-5 foot surge along the western shores of Long Island Sound (Figure 3). The coastal flooding situation may be most serious along the coast north of Boston, where a storm surge of 3-4 feet is occurring during this morning's high tide, and huge waves are battering the coast. Wave heights up to 25 feet were observed just offshore this morning. Coastal flooding is expected all along the Maine and New Hampshire coasts, and downtown Portland, Maine will see water along Commercial Street during high tide today. Waves heights up to 29 feet have been observed this morning off the coast of Maine.

Figure 2. Tidal levels observed at The Battery in New York City.

Figure 2. Tidal levels observed at King's Point in western Long Island Sound on April 15, 2007.

Mount Washington weather
Winds this morning on top of New Hampshire's Mount Washington were 108 mph, gusting to 138. I don't think they'll be painting the railings today! Check out their web site--the current observer comments are particularly interesting!

I'll post an update late this afternoon.
Jeff Masters

flood (bluerose)

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82. Starwoman
6:03 AM GMT on April 17, 2007
What a awfull day for you people!! A heavy storm, killing people - a shooting, killing far more people...
Here it is also frontnews.
My thoughts und prayers are with the people who have to experience such terrible things.
savedbygod - that is an absolut awfull experience, having your child shot at! Hope I never have to go through something like that!
Member Since: September 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 196
81. Skyepony (Mod)
12:57 AM GMT on April 17, 2007
This storm has killed 11 people so far.

Rains washed out more than 75 roads in New Hampshire, where 200 National Guard troops helped evacuate four towns and reinforce cresting rivers with sandbags.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 44301
80. sullivanweather
9:24 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
That cell phone video they just played on CNN is one of the worst things I have ever witnessed.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
79. Quark
9:00 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
BLACKSBURG, Va. - A gunman opened fire in a Virginia Tech dorm and then, two hours later, in a classroom across campus Monday, killing at least 32 people in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history, government officials told The Associated Press. The gunman was killed, bringing the death toll to 33.


Students complained that there were no public-address announcements or other warnings on campus after the first burst of gunfire. They said the first word they received from the university was an e-mail more than two hours into the rampage around the time the gunman struck again.

"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said Virginia Tech president Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified."

It was not immediately clear whether the gunman was shot by police or took his own life. Investigators offered no motive for the attack. The gunman's name was not immediately released, and it was not known if he was a student.

The shootings spread panic and confusion on campus. Witnesses reporting students jumping out the windows of a classroom building to escape the gunfire. SWAT team members with helmets, flak jackets and assault rifles swarmed over the campus. Students and faculty members carried out some of the wounded themselves, without waiting for ambulances to arrive.

The massacre took place at opposite sides of the 2,600-acre campus, beginning at about 7:15 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston, a coed dormitory that houses 895 people, and continuing at least two hours later at Norris Hall, an engineering building about a half-mile away, authorities said.

Police said they were still investigating the shooting at the dorm when they got word of gunfire at the classroom building.

Some students bitterly questioned why the gunman was able to strike a second time.

"What happened today this was ridiculous," student Jason Piatt told CNN. "While they send out that e-mail, 20 more people got killed."

Students and Laura Wedin, a student programs manager at Virginia Tech, said the first notification they got of the shootings came in an e-mail at 9:26 a.m., more than two hours after the first shooting.

The e-mail had few details. It said: "A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating." The message warned students to be cautious and contact police about anything suspicious.

Student Maurice Hiller said he went to a 9 a.m. class two buildings away from the engineering building, and no warnings were coming over the outdoor public address system on campus at the time.

Government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt an announcement by higher-ranking authorities, put the death toll at 31.

At least 26 people were being treated at three area hospitals for gunshot wounds and other injuries, authorities said. Their exact conditions were not disclosed, but at least one was sent to a trauma center and six were in surgery, authorities said.

Up until Monday, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was in Killeen, Texas, in 1991, when George Hennard plowed his pickup truck into a Luby's Cafeteria and shot 23 people to death, then himself.

The massacre Monday took place almost eight years to the day after the Columbine High bloodbath near Littleton, Colo. On April 20, 1999, two teenagers killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives.

Previously, the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history was a rampage that took place in 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, where Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower and opened fire with a rifle from the 28th-floor observation deck. He killed 16 people before he was shot to death by police.

Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia, about 160 miles west of Richmond. With more than 25,000 full-time students, it has the state's largest full-time student population. The school is best known for its engineering school and its powerhouse Hokies football team.

The rampage took place on a brisk spring day, with snow flurries swirling around the campus. The campus is centered around the Drill Field, a grassy field where military cadets who now represent a fraction of the student body once practiced. The dorm and the classroom building are on opposites sides of the Drill Field.

A gasp could be heard at a campus news conference when Virginia Tech Police Chief W.R. Flinchum said at least 20 people had been killed. Previously, only one person was thought to have been killed.

Investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began marking and recovering the large number of shell casings and will trace the weapon used, authorities said.

A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia.

"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said

After the shootings, all entrances to the campus were closed, and classes were canceled through Tuesday. The university set up a meeting place for families to reunite with their children. It also made counselors available and planned an assembly for Tuesday at the basketball arena.

After the shooting began, students were told to stay inside away from the windows.

Aimee Kanode, a freshman from Martinsville, said the shooting happened on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston dormitory, one floor above her room. Kanode's resident assistant knocked on her door about 8 a.m. to notify students to stay put.

Police said there had been bomb threats on campus over the past two weeks by authorities but said they have not determined a link to the shootings.

It was second time in less than a year that the campus was closed because of a shooting.

Last August, the opening day of classes was canceled and the campus closed when an escaped jail inmate allegedly killed a hospital guard off campus and fled to the Tech area. A sheriff's deputy involved in the manhunt was killed on a trail just off campus. The accused gunman, William Morva, faces capital murder charges.

78. Tazmanian
8:46 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Officials: Gunman dead after bloody campus rampage
POSTED: 4:39 p.m. EDT, April 16, 2007
Story Highlights NEW: Virginia attorney general says 32 dead, including gunman
Four hospitals report 29 wounded
Attacks mark deadliest school shooting in U.S. history
Student describes situation as "mayhem"; says 2 students jumped from window

Adjust font size:
(CNN) -- A lone gunman is dead after officials said he killed at least 31 people Monday during shootings in a dorm and a building housing classrooms at Virginia Tech, making it the deadliest school attack in U.S. history.

Officials said the shooting incidents occurred two hours apart.

Attorney General Bob McDonnell confirmed the death toll and said, "That's the best information that I've got from the law enforcement officers who are on the scene."

It was not clear if the gunman was killed by police or if he took his own life.

"Some victims were shot in a classroom," university police Chief Wendell Flinchum said. (Watch the police chief explain where bodies were found )

Spokespersons for hospitals in Roanoke, Christiansburg, Blacksburg and Salem told CNN they were treating 29 people from the shootings.

Sharon Honaker with Carilion New River Medical Center in Christiansburg said one of the four gunshot victims being treated there was in critical condition.

Scott Hill, a spokesman for Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, where 17 wounded students were taken, said he wasn't expecting any more victims.

"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said university President Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified." (Map of Blacksburg)

The killings mark the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, surpassing attacks at Columbine High School in 1999 and at the University of Texas in 1966.

One person was killed and others were wounded at multiple locations inside a dormitory about 7:15 a.m., Flinchum said. Two hours later, another shooting at Norris Hall -- the engineering science and mechanics building -- resulted in multiple casualties, the university reported. (Campus map)

The first reported shooting occurred at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a coed dormitory that houses 895 students. The dormitory, one of the largest residence halls on the 2,600-acre campus, is located near the drill field and stadium.

Amie Steele, editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, said one of her reporters at the dormitory reported "mass chaos."

The reporter said there were "lots of students running around, going crazy, and the police officers were trying to settle everyone down and keep everything under control," according to Steele. (Watch police, ambulances hustle to the scene )

Kristyn Heiser said she was in class about 9:30 a.m. when she and her classmates saw about six gun-wielding police officers run by a window.

"We were like, 'What's going on?' Because this definitely is a quaint town where stuff doesn't really happen. It's pretty boring here," said Heiser during a phone interview as she sat on her classroom floor.

Another student, Tiffany Otey, said she and her classmates initially thought the gunshots were construction noise until they heard screaming and police officers with bulletproof vests and machine guns entered her classroom.

"They were telling us to put our hands above our head and if we didn't cooperate and put our hands above our heads they would shoot," Otey said. "I guess they were afraid, like us, like the shooter was going to be among one of us."

Student reports 'mayhem'
Student Matt Waldron said he did not hear the gunshots because he was listening to music, but he heard police sirens and saw officers hiding behind trees with their guns drawn.

"They told us to get out of there so we ran across the drill field as quick as we could," he said.

Waldron described the scene on campus as "mayhem." (Watch a student's recording of police responding to loud bangs )

"It was kind of scary," he said. "These two kids I guess had panicked and jumped out of the top-story window and the one kid broke his ankle and the other girl was not in good shape just lying on the ground."

Madison Van Duyne said she and her classmates in a media writing class were on "lockdown" in their classrooms. They were huddled in the middle of the classroom, writing stories about the shootings and posting them online.

The university is updating its more than 26,000 students through e-mails, and an Internet webcam is broadcasting live pictures of the campus.

The shootings came three days after a bomb threat Friday forced the cancellation of classes in three buildings, WDBJ in Roanoke reported. Also, the 100,000-square-foot Torgersen Hall was evacuated April 2 after police received a written bomb threat, The Roanoke Times reported.

Last August, the first day of classes was cut short by a manhunt after an escaped prisoner was accused of killing a security guard at a Blacksburg hospital and a sheriff's deputy.

After the Monday shootings, students were instructed to stay indoors and away from windows, police at the university said. (Watch a student describe living through a "college Columbine" )

"Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where they are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus," a statement on the university Web site said.

The university has scheduled a convocation for 2 p.m. ET Tuesday. Classes also have been canceled Tuesday. In Washington, the House and Senate observed moments of silence for the victims and President Bush said the nation was "shocked and saddened" by news of the tragedy

"Today, our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones," he said. "We hold the victims in our hearts, we lift them up in our prayers and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering today."

Before Monday, the deadliest school shootings came in 1966 and 1999.

In the former, Charles Joseph Whitman, a 25-year-old ex-Marine, killed 13 people on the University of Texas campus. He was killed by police.

In 1999, 17-year-old Dylan Klebold and 18-year-old Eric Harris -- armed with guns and pipe bombs -- killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

77. ARKpoopdeck
8:37 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
anger was his first choice
76. sfranz
8:30 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
airman 45

Thanks for your kind comments. I just got off the phone with my own mother who was checking in to be sure I weathered the storm OK. My own thoughts and prayers will be with those families in Virginia at this tragic moment and with those who will have to rebuild their lives after the storm.
Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
75. savedbygod
8:13 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
My son was shot 4 times, the first time in the head, a few years ago. His girlfriend's ex-boyfriend came to wipe them all out, including the kids. If it weren't for my son's quick thinking, they would all be dead. Only by the Grace of God, did my son survive. The bullet to his head, grazed his scull. Had he turned his head a fraction......I am so thankful that you didn't have to go through that.
74. savedbygod
8:07 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Catastropheadjuster, if I were in your shoes, I would have gone to pieces. We are all babbling on about it. You just have more justification.
73. MissBennet
7:45 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
My Lord above, what a frightful day. First the weather now this? As a Graduate student myself I cant imagine something like that happeneing on my campus. What a nightmare!
72. airman45
7:44 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
From the European side of the Atlantic please accept our heartfelt condolences over the tragic events at Virginia Tech. It is headline news here also. What drove this person to do this is only known by him. I have already read some students were angry that this went on for two hours. Before placing blame on anyone, like the police force, please understand there are many factors unknown to us at this time about what went on. People are speaking emotionally now and this is usually not based on known facts. At this time just extend your prayers to those affected.
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3525
71. catastropheadjuster
7:22 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
As soon as i heard about it I called my son cause I live in Alabama and he just moved to Virginia about a month ago. I just started crying not just about my son but all them other children. You just don't know what to think about what's going on these days and what's going thru peoples heads. I mean when you see someone broke down you really want to stop and help but you don't know if it's a trap or what. I remember years ago my parents would always stop and help people out. It's just awful that you really can't do that no more it's really ashame. I'm sorry you'll about me just babling on. This just breaks my heart.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3689
70. savedbygod
7:14 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
I thank God your son is safe, catastropheadjuster. Good thing you were in the Doctor's office.
Thanks for the video link, misterperfect.
69. catastropheadjuster
7:10 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
On the news it said no even a year ago it was August of 2006 that a prisoner got loose and he ended up at Virginia Tech College and he killed a janitor and a sheriff. But they caught him but they ended killing him.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3689
68. MisterPerfect
7:03 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Disturbing video of gunfire audio caught on tape...cops yelling in background...

Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20250
67. catastropheadjuster
7:00 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
I was in the doctors office when I heard about it. My heart & prayers goes out to all them Parents and children on campus. What is this world coming to. My son just moved to Virginia and I called him cause he works on the campus doing plumbing work that scared the living crap out of me.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3689
6:59 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
I agree INYO! We have many things that need our attention in a days time! And yes right now people should at least send out some prayers for thoses affected by the shootings! And truly pointless and revolting!
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 28 Comments: 1837
65. savedbygod
6:43 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Don't apologize INYO. You are right on. Death is death! Grieving is grieving, whether it is for a loved one that died in the storm or in the shooting or for a life as one knew it, due to storm damage or anything else.
64. Inyo
6:32 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Forget about weather today:

this is so typical of this country's inability to think about two things at once.

everyone focuses on 9-11 and ignores weather disasters until katrina...

then everyone hyper-focuses on Katrina,


there are many things at once that require our attention as a country. is this shooting less important than Katrina because it killed less people? It still needs our attention.

That being said, my thoughts go out to anyone touched by that shooting. A storm, no matter how damaging, at least brings life giving rain, and is a part of an amazing natural system. This shooting is just pointless and sickening. Sorry for my rant.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 932
63. hurricane23
6:32 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
From what iam reading it looks like the suspect chained the doors during his rampage.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13873
62. hurricane23
6:30 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Now confirmed 31 dead!!

The worse shooting in modern history...

What a sad day.Unbelievable.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13873
61. Patrap
6:10 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Monday Bloody Virginia..sad,sad,sad...
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60. franck
6:07 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Don't like to think about American violence. American weather is less so.
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59. MisterPerfect
6:07 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Yep its sad...32 now dead, students and faculty.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20250
57. franck
6:03 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
sfranz...congrats on the strawberries rescue. The memories will make them tastier.
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56. savedbygod
5:45 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Thanks V26R.
55. sfranz
5:43 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
V26R Thanks for the tip. Here are a couple of photos from my place. The bad news - the siding is a bit torn up. The good news - the improvised plant shelter came through quite nicely. There is still hope for my strawberries. Hooray for PVC!

Wind Damage


Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
54. V26R
5:31 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Well it isn't pretty as we see
Think the LL Low will follow the UL one around before moving out, Hopefully without picking up
any more moisture from the Gulf Stream and dumping it in my backyard!
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1939
53. mrpuertorico
5:27 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
my sister in mamaroneck ny said here basement was flooded and the couch that i sleep on when i go visit was floating around the room.
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 833
52. MisterPerfect
5:26 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Heavy winds up there in Virginia prevented the use of helicopters...wonder if that doomed some students...shame.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20250
51. savedbygod
5:26 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
V26R....I'm a novice, doesn't that make it more violent?
50. savedbygod
5:24 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Ditto, Hurricane23. That kind of put me in shock, didn't know what to say. As if the weather there isn't enough.
49. V26R
5:24 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Sfranz thats justthe UpperLevel Low and the Surface low in close proximity to each other
Its called Stacking when the UL and LL lows get together
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48. hurricane23
5:21 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Columbine 2!!!

What a horrible situation.My prayers are with those familys who may have lost a love one.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13873
47. hurricane23
5:19 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Good afternoon,

Here are some pics i took earlier of the nor'easter.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13873
46. savedbygod
5:16 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
44. sfranz
5:10 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
The GOES water vapor shot makes it look like there may be two eye-like centers of circulation that are circling each other.

Goes Link
Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
43. savedbygod
5:07 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
My heart & prayers go out to all of you in the path of this Nor'easter. I agreee with you on the Boston Marathon. I think it is selfish & egotistical, not to put it off. If they want excerise, go help the people who need it, they will get plenty of exercise. There are plenty of them. I'm a plains girl from Wichita, Ks. Been here most of my life. The exception being about a year in Chicago & 3 years in RI when my husband was a Seabee. I remember watching Camille go by in RI. We didn't get much from her, but that was scary enough. The waves were fascinating to me. That was my one & only experience with a hurricane or anything close to it, like this Nor'easter. I decided then, that I much prefer a tornado, it's quicker.
42. quante
5:03 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Boston reporting 959 MB pressure at 11:00.
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41. sfranz
4:50 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Made it through the night here in Massachusetts with nothing worse than some siding torn off the eaves. Winds have eased off. We do have one mystery trashcan which appeared during the night. If you're in Connecticut and can't find yours let me know. :-)
Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
40. Bonedog
4:37 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
CrazyDuke as for the false eye you are correct one has developed and is also seen on radar quite clearly. While in fact its not a real eye it is a clearing of the center of circulation. When that feature passed over me around 8am we actually experienced no precip and no winds. The sky stood overcast but you could see that it was lighter. After it passed my location winds picked up from the NW, rain started again and temps have been falling ever since.
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39. Bonedog
4:30 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
tara I am in Northern New Jersey. Work in Newark live in Hewitt
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38. Bonedog
4:29 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
1151 AM EDT MON APR 16 2007




1221 PM EDT MON APR 16 2007




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37. weatherboykris
4:25 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
I can't believe they're running the Boston Marathon.Why not postpone it?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
36. CrazyDuke
4:25 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Well, it looks like the wrap around of precipitation that looked like it was coming together earlier fell apart. It does look like it has a somewhat interesting false eye on the southern edge of long island, though.


Bah, I need a site to dump static images to so people can have a look later on.
Member Since: February 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 140
35. tara77
4:25 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Bonedog where are you located? They did vol evac nearby here last night and they are setting up shelters in the high school at 3:30 today.
34. Bonedog
4:22 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Mr. Perfect it is already happening here. We have historic flood level already with crest height forcasts that havent been seen before. There are already forcing evacuations of certain parts of towns in the path of the floods.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
33. Bonedog
4:21 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
tara in 96hrs there will be another storm rolling off the coast of the Outer Banks. Does not look as bad as todays monster but a pretty good storm if your out in the ocean.


On that link the storm is the one lower left saying DVLP GALE. If you look close there is a black arrow pointing the direction of travel (for this storm it will be ENE)
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32. MisterPerfect
4:17 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
I envision many people pumping out basements today and tomorrow... feel sorry for you if that happens to be your task...
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20250

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