As Florence Surges Forward, Rethinking What Hurricane Preparation Looks Like
15 September, 2018, 19:59 | Author: Sheila Harris
According to Wednesday morning's update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence could park off the coast of the Carolinas on Friday, bringing damaging winds and even extreme storm surges to coastal areas.
In anticipation of the winds and water, 1.7 million people living along the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm.
As of 11 p.m. EST, the storm was centered 280 miles east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and was moving northwest at 17 mph.
Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland on Saturday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.
The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.
Amanda Kinseth, reporter for WPDE ABC 15 News in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen, and tremendous amounts of water", Trump said in a video posted on Twitter.
"North Carolina, my message is clear", a grim Gov. Roy Cooper said at a briefing today. "Now it might be time for the exam", he said.
Tuesday Governor Ralph Northam announced a mandatory evacuation order for Zone A due to concerns of flooding.
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Besides inundating the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (4 meters) along the Carolina coast, Florence could dump 20 to 30 inches (51-76 cm) of rain, with up to 40 inches in parts of North Carolina, the NHC said.
Jeff Byard of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings.
Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying.
It is estimated that the wind speed in the eye of the hurricane reaches more than 200 kilometers per hour.
The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people.
But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will stay at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.
The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm. Florence is expected to remain a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Most other beachgoers were long done. "Also, a little creepy". "If you haven't already evacuated, shore up your house as best you can", Samson recommended.
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The National Weather Service says Hurricane Florence "will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast". Florence, however, continues to threaten the east coast as a fierce storm that could trigger flooding as far south as Georgia.
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And Florence remained capable of unleashing rain-fueled catastrophic flooding of rivers and low-lying areas across a wide region. Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity .
When all is said and done, Florence could dump 18 trillion gallons along its path, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue. More than 722,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.
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Hurricane Florence starts flooding parts of the Carolinas
The hardest part to figure out now is where that heavy rain band sets up - probably right over Charlotte or just to the north. Mayewood may be among the best situated for the job. "We've wasted three days of discomfort and displacement", he said.
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