As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm and the advisory for Hampton Roads has been downgraded to a tropical storm warning.
Jeff Orrock, the meteorologist in charge at the National Hurricane Center in Wakefield, said the tropical storm is closing in on Hampton Roads within the next 24 hours.
He said the area can expect a low-end tropical storm with peak wind gusts of about 40-45 mph, with the highest winds blowing at the water’s edge.
The whole coastal area of Hampton Roads is under a coastal flood watch so residents are advised to stay alert and be wary of areas that are prone to flooding.
Moderate tidal flooding is expected in Norfolk but Orrock said it isn’t life-threatening.
So far, 2-3 inches of rain are possible in most areas starting late Thursday night and continuing throughout the day Friday.
The wind will really pick up Friday with gusts maintaining at 40-45 mph. As it moves inland, gusts are expected to decrease to 30-35 mph, he said.
The biggest thing Orrock wants area residents to watch out for is the oceanfront — he urges people to stay away from the water and to keep an eye out on the current as it will be pretty strong.
Friday will be very windy and rainy with the peak happening in the afternoon into the night.
Tidal flooding linked to high tide Friday afternoon should be monitored and any property you don’t want damaged should be moved out of flood-prone areas, Orrock said.
The evacuation order is still in place for Zone A.
To find out which zone you are in, click here.