(WGHP) — Hurricane Ian was a few hundred miles off the coast of South Carolina as of 5 a.m. Friday, but forecasters say the storm’s second landfall is only hours away.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh reported at 6:15 a.m., “Hurricane Ian is still offshore of South Carolina but the rain has already begun. Expect conditions to continue to deteriorate through the morning and afternoon, with the heaviest rain and possible flash flooding expected during the afternoon and evening hours.”

At 5 a.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center placed Ian about 225 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, but tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 485 miles from the storm’s center.

Latest regional radar over the Carolinas as of 6 AM Friday.

Originally tweeted by NWS Raleigh (@NWSRaleigh) on September 30, 2022.

Heavy rain of 2 to 6 inches, flash flooding, tropical-storm-force winds of 40 to 50 mph and possible isolated tornadoes to the east are all part of North Carolina’s forecast.

How much flooding is possible?

The National Hurricane Center says flooding is likely to be worst if storm surge comes at high tide. In Duck, North Carolina, the next high tide is expected at 11:12 a.m. and the next low tide is 5:41 p.m., according to US Harbors.

If high tide and storm surge come at the same time, we could see several feet of flooding at and south of the North-South Carolina border with multiple feet of flooding up the North Carolina coast.

From Edisto beach, south of Charleston, up to Little River Inlet at the North-South Carolina border, storm surge could bring 4 to 7 feet of flooding.

From the border up to Cape Fear, there’s a risk of 3 to 5 feet of flooding.

The Cape Fear River, which lets out near Wilmington, could face 2 to 4 feet of flooding. Cape Fear up to Duck, North Carolina, including the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers, could also face 2 to 4 feet.

Albemarle Sound, south of Elizabeth City, could see 1 to 2 feet of flooding.

That doesn’t mean inland North Carolina is safe from flash flooding. NWS reports much of central North Carolina is under a moderate risk—at least 40%—of flash flooding. That risk is slight—at least 15%—for eastern North Carolina and the western mountains.

When to expect powerful winds

Hurricane-force winds will likely reach southeastern North Carolina by Friday afternoon.

A map of the earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical-storm-force winds shows winds south and east of Fayetteville by 8 a.m. The rest of the state, save for the northwestern mountains and foothills, will likely see those winds by 2 p.m. By 8 p.m. the winds will have struck the majority of Virginia barely reaching the Washington D.C. area.

Watches and Warnings for North Carolina

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Flagler/Volusia County Line Florida to Cape Fear, North Carolina
  • Neuse River, North Carolina

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Savannah River to Cape Fear, North Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina
  • Pamlico Sound

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • North of Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina
  • Pamlico River
  • Cape Fear River

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • East of Cape Fear to Surf City, North Carolina