Hurricane Florence has ingredients that make experts worry

14 September, 2018, 21:57 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Hurricanes Florence Isaac and Helene moving through the Atlantic

Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Centre said.

Florence rapidly intensified over the past 24 hours becoming a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of up to 140mph. It's now about 1,010 miles southeast of Norfolk, Virginia, the National Weather Service said.

Having grown up in storm-prone Florida, she said she's careful not to underestimate any hurricane.

It is now blowing with 130 miles per hour winds. All could face widespread "power and communication outages, impassable roads filled with debris and numerous large trees snapped and uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over". Multiple states have already declared a state of emergency in preparation for the damaging flooding that Florence is likely to bring.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C. "Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches with isolated maxima to 30 inches near Florence's track over portions of North Carolina, Virginia and northern SC through Saturday".

Florence is on track to slow down significantly after landfall. The hurricane center predicts a "heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic for hundreds of miles".

Evacuations in Dare County began Monday and are expected to continue, and officials at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington have canceled classes and activities for the remainder of the week to allow students and staff to evacuate if they so choose. Schools in 26 of the state's 46 counties were ordered closed from Tuesday.

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The two schools had announced earlier in the day that the game wouldn't be played as scheduled Saturday.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster orders the evacuation of coastal South Carolina residents for their personal safety as Hurricane Florence approaches.

Florence's growth from an ordinary tropical storm to a major hurricane had been well-forecasted since the cyclone originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa on August 30.

South Carolina State Veterinarian Boyd Parr has suspended some of the requirements for the interstate transport of animals to accommodate evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Part of the danger may come later in the week, due to increased fears Florence "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and risky rainfall event Friday-Sunday", says the Center on Tuesday.

Other counties along North Carolina's coast are also issuing evacuation warnings, while SC has ordered the evacuation of all coastal areas beginning at noon on Tuesday. It says total rainfall could reach 30 inches in some places, prompting life-threatening flash flooding from SC to Northern Virginia.

It is feared Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hurricane Hazel packed 209km/h winds in 1954. The initial damage is likely due come from the high winds and storm surge-high tides carried by the winds--and then by the huge soaking it will likely leave in both North and SC, as well as Virginia, as it moves slowly inland. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.

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