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Tropical Storm Ophelia downgraded to tropical depression

Tropical Storm Ophelia downgraded to tropical depression
Tropical Storm Ophelia downgraded to tropical depression 04:23

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Tropical Storm Ophelia was officially downgraded to Tropical Depression Ophelia Saturday evening. The storm that is still running north up the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast was formally named Tropical Storm Ophelia on Friday afternoon by the National Hurricane Center.

Our NEXT Weather team declared Saturday a NEXT Weather Alert Day due to this storm.

NEXT Weather: High winds, rain from Ophelia blowing cameras around 02:25

The storm is bringing heavy rain, wind and flooding risks to the Philadelphia region throughout weekend, especially on Saturday. The flooding risks are greatest at the Jersey Shore and low-lying coastal areas, which will see increased storm surge in addition to multiple inches of rainfall.

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Wind gusts higher than 60 mph were reported in Delaware and at the Jersey Shore, where we saw some ponding on some roads and sidewalks. 

The storm first made landfall with winds up to 70 mph. Those winds are now sustained at 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. 

The storm is actively moving north towards our area at 12 mph. 

Per the National Hurricane Center's update at 5 p.m. Ophelia was in Virginia, just 50 miles south of Richmond. 

Down the Shore

Several events are canceled or postponed due to the storm, particularly at the Shore. We have a running list here.

NEXT Weather Alert: Atlantic City road closures 00:22

CBS Philadelphia was down in Sea Isle City Saturday afternoon where the beach looked increasingly shorter as the water lapped right up against the dunes. White caps and choppy waves could be seen on in the water, while sea foam and flags whipped around at high speeds. 

A group of girlfriends from Bucks County were determined to have a girls' weekend rain or shine. Sadly, we know the outcome was rain. 

Tropical Storm Ophelia making mark on Sea Isle City already 02:13

Kelley O'Leary of Warrington, Bucks County knew that even though she was geared up in her poncho, odds would likely have it that the storm might still have her beat.

"Well, a poncho that's really not doing any good. I was going to wear my boots like you, but what's the point? It's a nice little break in the rain," O'Leary said. "So we thought we'd take a walk and we're the only idiots who came down for the weekend knowing the weather forecast. And we're afraid it's going to flood and we need to move our cars, so yeah." 

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What is Tropical Depression Ophelia's track?

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Ophelia made landfall along the North Carolina coast early Saturday morning and then will work its way north toward the I-95 corridor.

Our future cast shows what our region will look like late Saturday night as the tropical depression continues on its path north.

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It will be a coastal low by the time it reaches Virginia Sunday morning. Sunday night, it'll be near Maryland and Delaware.

You will still feel the tropical depression throughout the day Sunday. Our area can expect to still have periods of heavy rain, but the silver lining comes as Sunday will be less windy. The storm system will move out towards Long Island late Sunday night. 

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Safety guidance for upcoming storms

Our NEXT Weather meteorologists recommend tying down light outdoor objects like beach chairs and umbrellas.

If you live in an area prone to tidal flooding, move your vehicle to higher ground or perhaps to a relative's house out of the area.

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You should also stay out of the dangerous high surf whether you're on the beach or thinking about boating.

There is a high risk of rip currents as well.

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Storm impacts at Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches: high tide flooding possible, High Wind Warning in effect

The most significant impacts of the storm will be on the coast, the National Weather Service says. We will see coastal flooding and strong winds, with heavy rain possible.

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A High Wind Warning is in effect for coastal areas, with Wind Advisories farther inland for all coastal counties of Delaware and New Jersey. The storm is bringing wind gusts in excess of 60 mph along the coasts.

As of 8 a.m., the strongest reported wind gust in our region was 64 mph in Lewes, Del.

Cape May's Washington Street Mall was looking waterlogged Saturday morning after hours of rain.

Wind gust of 64 mph reported in Lewes, Del.; ponding on roads in Cape May 00:21

A Coastal Flood Watch is also in effect, with inundation of as much as 3 feet possible at high tide. High tide is about 2:48 p.m. in Cape May, New Jersey. The Shore could see between two and four inches of rain as well.

CBS News Philadelphia reporter Madeleine Wright saw flooding at 42nd Street and Central Avenue in Sea Isle City.

Storm warnings and Gale Warnings are in place for boaters.

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Winds whipping in Atlantic City; all eyes on high tide after 2 p.m.

Atlantic City, NJ could see flooding at high tide from Ophelia 02:51

The rain and winds were heavy enough that one of our cameras got waterlogged. CBS News Philadelphia reporter Wakisha Bailey switched to her cell phone to bring you live news from Atlantic City as it weathers the storm.

Meteorologist Tammie Souza explains the storm impacts we'll see

"Sheets of rain" in Wilmington, Delaware

Tropical Storm Ophelia makes landfall in N.C., bands of heavy rain pummel NJ, PA, DE 02:13

Hurricane season info

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So far this hurricane season we've crossed out the names listed in the graphic above. Philippe is the next tropical cyclone on our radar. 

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Hurricane season begins June 1 and rides throughout the summer into the late fall, ending on November 30. We are just two weeks past the peak of hurricane season, so to see a storm with the impacts of Tropical Depression Ophelia come make landfall is not unusual in the slightest.

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