WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports Tropical Storm Dennis made landfall on Sept. 4 at Cedar Island in Carteret County, North Carolina.
After numerous days of pounding the Outer Banks with heavy rain and high winds, he system moved inland in a northwest direction across interior sections of the North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. The remnants of Dennis continue to affect Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey with periods of locally heavy rain.
A Dennis-spawned tornado caused damage in the City of Hampton. No fatalities were reported, but 20 to 30 people suffered minor injuries. Numerous apartment complex buildings and a nursing home sustained damage, displacing approximately 1,000 families. Coastal areas report only minor to light flooding and beach erosion and numerous low-lying roads were covered by water.
As a result of the tornado damage, Virginia's Governor Gilmore requested FEMA join state officials to conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs), which were completed on Sept. 5. On Sept. 6, President Clinton signed a major disaster declaration for Virginia designating the City of Hampton eligible for the Individual Assistance disaster program. A Disaster Field Office (DFO) site has been located in Richmond and a Disaster Recovery Center will be opened in Hampton.
With Dennis gone, the situation has begun to improve in North Carolina. The hard hit areas of Ocracoke Island (Hyde County) and Hatteras (Dare County) now have telephone service and power outages have been reduced to 25 customers. All ferry service has been halted until officials can determine the safety of the channels. Some dredging may have to be conducted before service can be restored.
The American Red Cross is not operating any shelters and there are no reports of any unmet needs or critical situations. PDAs have started in Carteret, Dare and Craven counties. Additional PDAs are scheduled to begin today in Hyde, Currituck, Pamlico and Onslow counties. The DFO located in Raleigh is fully operational.