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Tropical Storm Elsa has made landfall in the Florida panhandle, and that puts the focus on the rain and wind impacts she holds for our region.

The National Weather Service says the shift of Elsa slightly west has led to an increased forecast for rain throughout Southeastern North Carolina. Some 2-4 inches of rain are expected starting Thursday morning, continuing throughout the day.

Currently, sustained winds aren’t much of a concern, but gusts could top 30-35 mph at times.

Because of the sustained rainfall throughout the day, there also remains a risk of localized flooding in the area. A flash flood watch has been issued for most of Eastern North Carolina by the National Weather Service. It currently is in effect from Thursday morning until 6 p.m. Thursday night.

We encourage everyone to stay safe and follow our hurricane season safety guide for tips.

The City of Fayetteville issued an advisory notice, saying that crews are preparing for storm response.

City Public Services crews have activated storm plans:

  • Barricades are placed near areas with a history of flood potential such as Ray Avenue and the Locks Creek community. The barricades will be used to close roads in the event roadway flooding occurs.
  • Street Maintenance crews have prepped equipment, such as chain saws, to ensure all resources are available and operational if needed.
  • City vehicle fuel tanks were filled on July 6.

Status of the Locks Creek Debris Removal Project:

  • Debris was extracted from 30 identified locations within the creek (last week). Contractor is currently removing the debris piles from their upland locations.

City Storm Gages online:

The City has a five-year agreement with the USGS to manage real-time rain and stream gages. Locations are: Fire Station #11 Raeford Road, Fire Station #19 Walsh Parkway, Blounts Creek, Cross Creek and Cape Fear River.

  • Links to the Fayetteville gages are posted here.
  • Photos of gages in Fayetteville are posted here.

If a tree falls:

  • If a tree falls and blocks a roadway, call 911. Assume there could be power lines in the tree limbs. Do not touch it.

To report a power outage:

  • Please call your utility company if you experience a power outage. Calling the utility company instead of 911, allows 911 dispatchers more freedom to handle emergency calls.

COVID-19 shelter precautions:

  • Please get vaccinated. Visit to type in your zip code and locate a vaccination provider.
  • When/if shelters are operational, capacity will be reduced compared to years past. There will be limited space due to social distancing and infection control measures.
  • Shelter organizers want to prevent the spread of the virus within shelters.

If you see a flooded area:

  • Turn around don’t drown.

For storm damage reports for insurance purposes, report damage online here:

For non-emergency Police reports, file by phone (910) 433-1529 or (910) 433-1530.

Create your hurricane plan now. Visit  You will find instructions on evacuation routes, preparedness kits, pet care and ways to document your personal belongings.



Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.