Hurricane Florence now a Category 3, but remains ‘extremely dangerous’

16 September, 2018, 00:03 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Hurricane Florence

Florence is now a Category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale and is forecast to slam into the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday.

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., said, "and that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew". Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and river flooding is likely.

The landfall location is expected to be between Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina. "He lives in North Carolina". This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend.

Flight Director Paul Flaherty is preparing to fly into Hurricane Florence for a fourth time, and said he hopes to bring back good news, but so far, there's been no signs of that from the sky.

In addition to the dangers the expected deluge of water poses, the hurricane center cautioned, "A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina beginning late Thursday morning".

Analytics firm CoreLogic predicts that the damage from Florence could be more than $170 billion - making it the most expensive hurricane to hit the continental U.S.

The National Weather Service said 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches.

North Carolina TV station evacuates because of rising water
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 .

For a swath of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

"Rather than a very narrow and intense band of winds, the winds are slightly weaker - but [they] cover a much larger area", NHC senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, the president urged those in the path of Florence to "get out of its way".

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

We'll keep you updated on this system in the coming days.

The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

"Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different". Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that it would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".

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