Hurricane Michael could bring significant rain and wind to our area Thursday, according to National Hurricane Center projections.
For an area still recovering from devastation from Hurricane Florence in mid-September, this is obviously bad news.
Michael is predicted to become a major hurricane (with wind speeds in excess of 110 mph) in the Gulf of Mexico by 8 p.m. Tuesday and make landfall near Panama City, Fla., late Wednesday morning.
It is predicted to pick up speed but lose strength, becoming a tropical storm somewhere over Georgia on Thursday morning.
Its eye, or what is left of it, should pass over our area (Craven County) sometime later Thursday, either as a tropical storm or a post tropical storm. Though by that time nowhere near as powerful as Florence, wind and rain are predicted to be significant, and the cone as projected at 11 a.m. Monday centers squarely on New Bern midday Thursday.
Residents with roof damage unrepaired since Florence are particularly vulnerable. Also, soils still soggy from Florence-caused flooding could experience more trees downed by Michael.
There is no word about Mumfest, the street festival and concert scheduled for this weekend. Mumfest was rescheduled a month later in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew. Although Michael will have cleared the area by the weekend, it is impossible to predict what damage it will cause and whether that will affect Mumfest planning.