Minimal impact expected by Karen in Vance County

Oct. 04, 2013 @ 05:54 PM

The Henderson area is likely to catch a breeze and hang on to a little wanted rain as the result of Tropical Storm Karen once its remains pass by on Monday.

According to Brian Short, the Vance County director of emergency management, his people will be keeping a watchful eye in case Karen’s expected path toward the west shifts a little and the tropical depression holds a little longer.

The storm is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane, then experience a shearing that will weaken it as it crosses over land from the Caribbean Sea. The path prediction puts Vance County in the cross hairs for all of about a half an inch of rain, according to Short.

“That’s an estimate right now from the National Weather Service,” Short said. “The heaviest rain is expected in the western part of the state.”

The band from Jackson to Polk counties cutting northward toward Ashe, Alleghany and Surry counties, would see rain of up to 2½ inches.

“Anything can change,” Short said. “It will probably be a tropical depression or even a subtropical system, whatever is left of the system by Monday.”

The possibility exists for strong wind gusts with heavy rain, Short said.

“It really depends on where those bands of rain fall,” Short said. “We are not looking for anything severe from this storm.”

According to Short, the routine with any approaching storm is to monitor the situation and implement emergency protective measures if they become necessary.

According to The Associated Press, officials and residents along the Gulf Coast were preparing Friday for Karen, which was poised to become only the second named storm of a quiet hurricane season to make landfall in the U.S.

Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida declared states of emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Interior Department recalled workers who were furloughed because of the government shutdown.

Karen was forecast to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night. Isolated rain totals of up to 10 inches are possible along the Gulf Coast.

 

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.