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Worst possible coastal flooding for over a decade in the mid-Atlantic and northeast


It will be a nasty weekend for millions of people with heavy rains and winds stretching from the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic to the northeast and eventually New England.

The biggest impact may not be flood precipitation like recent storms, but rather the threat of coastal flooding, which in some places could experience the biggest tidal event since the hurricane. Isabel in 2003.

As of Friday morning, 18 million people were on alert for coastal flooding, where up to 3 feet of flooding could be possible, especially at times of high tide. Meanwhile, 21 million people were subject to wind warnings from the mid-Atlantic to the northeast, where winds could blow up to 50 mph, especially along the coast, and 10 million people were under flood watch where up to 2-4 inches of rain could fall on saturated ground. .

Throughout Friday, the rains will be heavy at times, leading to accumulations on the roads and isolated flash floods, especially in cities.

However, the greatest flood threat will come from coastal flooding. Strong offshore winds combined with the remaining high water levels from the northeast earlier in the week could one of the biggest tidal floods of the last 10 to 20 years, and worse since Isabel in 2003.

The possible impacts of coastal flooding will be impassable roads, water in low-shore homes and buildings, and flooded marinas. This threat will last through the high tide cycles on Saturday afternoon.

Of particular concern are areas along Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Delaware and Potomac Rivers, where dozens of river gauges along these waterways are expected to reach moderate to major flooding levels.

One of those areas, Delaware Bay at Reedy Point, is expected to beat the all-time highest water level on record in Delaware Bay. According to the meteorologist Bill Karin, if the forecast materializes, it will be higher than Hurricane Sandy nine years ago to the day and higher than the historical northeast of April 2011.

Parts of the Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas could experience tidal flooding. Annapolis, Maryland, already suffered from flooding on Friday morning.

By Saturday, the heaviest rains are expected to fall over northern New England, but rain showers and wind gusts will persist in the central Atlantic and northeast until Saturday evening.

Across the region, 1 to 3 inches of rain will fall through Saturday evening, with locally higher amounts up to 4 inches.

The good news is that the storm system will roll off the coast just in time to provide dry skies for the trick-or-treat.



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