Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence grows in deadly size even as winds weaken

Despite governor’s order, Beaufort County schools will remain closed Wednesday Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast
Guillermo Lane | 13 September, 2018, 10:01

Despite the potentially devastating hurricane being downgraded to category two on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, the governor of Georgia has joined his counterparts in Virginia and the Carolinas in declaring a state of emergency.

Florence, it added, is also expected to strengthen even more over the next several days before it is forecast to hit the southeastern United States on Friday morning at around 8 a.m. local time, September 14.

Steering currents - around clear weather high-pressure systems and stormy low-pressure systems - redirect hurricanes, with the clear weather systems acting as walls that storms have to go around.

Hurricane-force winds will bring down trees and damage homes and businesses.

North Carolina's 100-year-flood plains still house 62 industrial hog farms and 30 chicken-raising operations, with a combined 532 manure ponds within the floodplain or within 100 feet of it, the Environmental Working Group said in a statement today. The storm will bring dangerously high amounts of rain, forecasters say.

If some of the computer projections hold, "it's going to come roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say, 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland,"' said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground forecasting service.

Forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina on Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane. "Storm surge watches are in effect in these areas - hurricane watches are in effect for coastal South Carolina, North Carolina". "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said.

WashPost: Archbishop Donald Wuerl to Meet Pope on Resignation
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"Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in", Cooper said.

Mandatory evacuations began at 8 a.m.in many coastal communities.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

The storm was heading for the coast of North and SC but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

The photos in Gerst's post capture Florence mid-churn, winds up to 130 miles per hour whipping around the storm's eye. "It's one of those situations where you're going to get heavy rain, catastrophic, life-threatening storm surge, and also the winds".

DOT crews and the State Highway Patrol were quickly clearing accidents, stranded drivers and abandoned vehicles off major highways near the coast so they don't hinder the evacuation effort.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination. "We've just never seen anything like this".

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