Hurricane remnants to strike east, south of city

September 28, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Storm wary residents of Washington County got good news for a change from forecasters - the area will be spared, for the most part, from the wrath of the remnants of Hurricane Jeanne.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service's Sterling, Va., office and AccuWeather's State College, Pa., office said Monday that the most severe weather Jeanne has to offer will strike cities to the south and east of the Hagerstown area. Although tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are not expected, plenty of rain is likely, said National Weather Service meteorologist Luis Rosa.

Rosa said 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected to fall today, mostly during the morning, as a result of the storm, which was categorized Monday night as a tropical depression.


Rosa said the storm was marching north from Macon, Ga., Monday en route to areas including Charlotte, N.C., and Norfolk, Va. He said the path of the storm's center would miss most of Maryland and the Tri-State area, sparing it from the type of weather events seen in recent weeks.

"It's nothing like what we saw with Ivan or Frances," Rosa said.

AccuWeather meteorologist Robert "Bob" Larson said forecasters there were expecting an afternoon finish to the storm locally and slightly less rain than was predicted by the National Weather Service.

Larson said Jeanne's current course out to sea is why the area will most likely avoid tornadoes and thunderstorms. He said the most severe weather associated with these systems generally occurs to the south and east of the storm's center.

"The center of this system is going to pass south of the area. That limits the concern," Larson said.

Larson said there was also little concern for substantial flooding with this storm. He said flooding likely will be limited to minor problems on streets and highways in areas with drainage problems.

"There are no flood watches right now," Larson said. "Traditionally, if they were worried about that, they'd have put out a warning by now."

Emergency management officials throughout the state tracked the progress of the storm as it shifted east and weakened Monday. However, parts of the Eastern Shore could still be hit by strong winds and up to 3 inches of rain as Jeanne makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean today.

The storm leveled many portions of Florida Sunday and led to six deaths. It flooded dozens of homes in Georgia and left many residents there without power. It prompted North Carolina officials to declare a state of emergency as the storm made its way north.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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