Storm Hermine regains power to threaten US north-east

Storm Hermine is regaining power as it moves up the US eastern seaboard, threatening the north-east with dangerous coastal surges.

Hermine is forecast to return to the Category 1 hurricane strength it lost as it pummelled Florida.

The storm left a trail of destruction in the south-east, killing two people.

Governors have announced emergency plans along the coast as far north as Connecticut, with many Labor Day weekend events cancelled.

The biggest threat, forecasters say, could be from storm surges stretching from Virginia to New Jersey.

They could reach up to 5ft (1.5m) if they hit at high tide, they say.

Senior National Hurricane Center specialist Daniel Brown told Reuters: “[Hermine] is going to sit offshore and it is going to be a tremendous coastal event with a dangerous storm surge and lots of larger waves probably causing significant beach erosion for the next few days.”

He predicted rainfall of up to 7in (18cm) from Virginia to Long Island.

Concert postponed

At 09:45 GMT on Sunday, Hermine was about 220 miles (350km) off the coast of Virginia packing winds of 62mph.

The NHC said Hermine could be a slow mover up the coast, and may linger for days off New Jersey.

It is forecast to move to about 100 miles south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, by Wednesday evening, and then continue to track north-east.

Another NHC specialist Eric Blake said: “This is not a beach weekend for anyone in the Mid-Atlantic to the north-east.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency in three coastal counties and Delaware Governor Jack Markell has declared a limited state of emergency for Sussex County.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo closed Long Island’s coastal beaches on Sunday.

Several Labor Day events have been affected, including Saturday’s Bruce Springsteen concert in Virginia Beach that has now been moved to Monday.

Virginia Beach resident, Seth Broudy, speaking to Reuters news agency about the coastal conditions on Saturday, said: “Right now it’s rough as hell. It’s dangerous. It’s just out of control. It’s like sitting in a washing machine and spinning around.”

Some 55,000 homes or businesses were left without power in Virginia as the storm struck.

The two people who died were a lorry driver killed when his vehicle was blown over in North Carolina and a man hit by a falling tree in Florida.

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