'Catastrophic' Hurricane Florence buffets U.S. east coast

14 September, 2018, 13:48 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT

Hurricane Florence is now expected to hit the Carolina coast with less powerful winds, a trade-off with increased rainfall - which may ultimately be more damaging for some areas. The damage from the storm is also cumulative over time, as it slowly moves inland, damaging homes and buildings, blowing trees over, and knocking down power lines.

Forecasters expect Florence to hit the Carolinas early in the morning on September 14.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", Smith said.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

The coastal area of SC features hundreds of inlets while North Carolina has barrier islands miles away from the mainland.

"The storm sort of made me run a little faster, I live there in Charlotte and things are not going to be too good", said Dougherty.

Almost 2 million coastal residents are now under mandatory evacuation orders, although it remains unclear how many have actually done so.

As of 6 a.m., Florence was 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press.

The storm surge risk will be highest between Southport and Surf City.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

Hurricane Florence: Your guide to the story
Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Another video from NOAA's GOES-East weather satellite caught a different view of Hurricane Florence .

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Its centre was moving west at only 9km/h.

Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses. That system could develop into a tropical depression by Friday.

Homeless after losing her job at Walmart three months ago, 25-year-old Brittany Jones went to a storm shelter at a high school near Raleigh.

Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane - in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific - or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.

Footage from US TV outlets showed raging waters hitting piers and jettys, and rushing across coastal roads in seaside communities. This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it. But the danger comes not so much from the wind as from the storm surges, which could raise the sea level to 4 meters in some points and flood the coast.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves".

Winds 252km/h+ Serious damage to buildings, severe flooding further inland.

"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", he said.

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