Red flags are flying in Va. Beach, Kill Devil Hills

(Photo: @CityofVaBeach/Twitter)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Red flags are up at beaches across the region, as Hurricane Gert is expected to impact the surf along Virginia and North Carolina.

The City of Virginia Beach tweeted that flag are flying at the Oceanfront and in Sandbridge “due to rough surf and high risk of rip currents.”

Kill Devil Hills posted to Facebook Tuesday that red flags have been posted at their beaches. KHD officials said in the post the flags mean no swimming.

Gert is expected to remain offshore — meaning less direct impact to the region.

Meterologist Jeremy Wheeler says waves could be between 3 feet and 5 feet at the Oceanfront, and 4 feet to 6 feet along the Outer Banks.

The hurricane is also expected to cause an increased threat for rip currents.

A 63-year-old man drowned Monday in the Outer Banks after getting caught in what National Park Service officials called a “vary strong” rip current. He reportedly was caught in the current trying to rescue another swimmer.

“Everyday is a beach day, but it might not be a day you need to go in the water,” Boone Vandzura Chief Ranger with the National Park Service told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings. “We want folks to recognize that the ocean is very strong and powerful and that there are days when its just not a good idea to go into the ocean.”

Although dangerous conditions for swimmers, Tuesday’s water was good for surfers and people fishing.

“It’s clean, which means that not a lot of chop, not a lot of wind to make the chop,” Kevin Sullivan from Charlottesville said.

“It’s nice lines coming in and big waves. Big waves. Bigger the better,” Russell Ferris of Virginia Beach said.

Deb Mieves drove several hours to Virginia Beach from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She caught five fish in just a few hours.

“I think right after a boat passes, that’s when I catch one. I think the waves help bring them over to me,” she said.

There had been one rescue involving two people at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront as of Tuesday afternoon.

You can find the daily rip current forecast from the National Weather Service here. There’s also information about rip current safety available here.