Hurricane Ophelia is closing in on North Carolina, creeping up the coast with high winds and driving rain. The storm has cut off electricity to thousands and threatened widespread flooding.
Ports, schools and businesses have been closed and shelters opened along the coast and on the nearby chain of islands known as the Outer Banks. Hurricane warnings have been issued for a wide area from the tip of South Carolina to the Virginia border in the north. Unlike Katrina, Ophelia has meandered and varied in strength, taking away theurgency to evacuate for some people; “We’re ready for it. And we’ve got food and water and everything is under control so we should be fine”, said one resident. Others are taking no chances. “I’m trying to get out of there right now, because later we’re not going to be able to get out. And I don’t want to take chances with my kids,” was another response. Ophelia is the 15th named storm and the seventh hurricane in what has been a particularly active Atlantic storm season, which began in June and ends in November.