Hurricane Chris is moving up the Atlantic Ocean, and is expected to bring dangerous swells to Mid-Atlantic beaches. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is alerting beachgoers that its impact could be life-threatening waves.
As of Wednesday, Chris had sustained winds up to 100 miles per hour, with higher gusts. It’s expected to accelerate north on Wednesday and begin to weaken by Thursday. It’s predicted to stay well offshore, but is already having a ripple effect on beaches.
Says NHC, “Swells generated by Chris are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states during the next few days. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
On Monday, Ocean City, Maryland Beach Patrol reported making several rescues because of strong rip currents. And on Tuesday, Assateague Island State Park flew its red flags, banning swimming because of worsening beach conditions.
NHC urges beachgoers to carefully follow their local beach forecast before hitting the water, and 5th District Coast Guard Command Duty Officer Matt Brooks adds, “There have been numerous deaths this year due to rip currents. Swim at a beach with a lifeguard and do not swim after hours.”
Limited visibility, wind, and waves can also make boating dangerous during tropical storm conditions.
The U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic emphasizes, “Boaters and swimmers alike should exercise caution as Tropical Storm Chris makes its way up the East Coast.”