CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. -- Tropical Storm Leslie may not hit our coast directly, but it's making waves. Lifeguards at Carolina Beach expect a busy week with no less than a moderate risk for rip currents.
Tuesday, lifeguards flew yellow flags to alert beach goers to the moderate risk. By as early as Wednesday, lifeguards expect a high risk.
News 14 Carolina meteorologist say Tropical Storm Leslie is to blame.
"Even though it is going to stay off the North Carolina coast, it still will churn up the Atlantic enough to produce these dangerous rip currents for all of our beachgoers at least through this upcoming weekend," said Lee Ringer, a News 14 Carolina meteorologist.
The good news is lifeguards are on duty. That wasn't the case last year. After Labor Day, they were off the stands.
But lifeguards say this year the town has asked them to stay through the month of September. They say they plan to have seven to 10 guards on the stands during the weekdays and during the weekends, 10 to 15.
"Due to hurricane season and the storm coming the waves are going to be a little bit bigger, the rip currents are going to be more dangerous, so it's going to help having more guards out here," said Victoria Baker, a Carolina Beach lifeguard.
Even though the busy beach season has come to an end, lifeguards still expect crowds when the weather is nice.
They ask beach goers to pay attention to the warning flags and learn what to look for.
"It's a straight break in the sand bar and the water is pulling out into a straight line, then it forms into a funnel cloud. It's discolored water, we see that better because we are sitting up higher, those experienced in the ocean will notice the white water wash and how the water is pulling in that one direct area," said Baker.
If you do find yourself in a rip current, lifeguards say swim parallel to shore and once you're out of it swim on an angle into shore. If you don't think you can swim out, tread water and get the attention of the lifeguard or someone on shore.