Rip current risk elevated again this weekend

19 have died this year due to rip currents

By Chris Michaels - Meteorologist

ROANOKE, Va. - A rip current is a powerful and narrow channel of fast-moving water, usually found close to the coastline. An estimated 46 people die each year, due of a rip current. So far this year, 19 people have died from it. Four of those were just this past weekend, as Tropical Storm Chris churned off the east coast.

Chris is moving away from U.S. soil, but the remnants of Beryl has a chance to regenerate. The National Hurricane Center has given this system a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm again by the weekend.

A west wind in the eastern U.S., combined with a high pressure system over the open Atlantic should steer the remnants of Beryl off the east coast. 

This once again will elevate the rip current risk along the South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia coast. 

If you plan on heading to the beach, make sure you are aware of what the beach warning flags mean. 

If you get caught in a rip current, officials say try your best not to panic. Don't fight the current, but swim parallel to the shore. If you can't do that, try floating, treading water or signaling for help.

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