Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

'Threat becomes reality': Florence begins days of rain, wind

Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This Hurricane Florence's winds and rain begin lashing US Carolinas coast
Guillermo Lane | 18 September, 2018, 03:21

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical storm force winds up to 195 miles.

THE life-threatening hurricane, Florence, is expected to hover the Carolinas in the U.S. with torrential rains, high winds and massive coastal erosion. Heavy rain, storm surge, damaging winds, rough surf and isolated tornadoes will be possible, especially in eastern North Carolina.

MA will not feel too much of an impact from the chaotic storm down south, according to the National Weather Service: "The only impacts in southern New England from Hurricane Florence will be high surf and risky rip currents especially on the south coast through Friday". Then, it will likely hover along the coast on Saturday (Sunday NZT), pushing up to 4m of storm surge and dumping 50 to 75cm of rain on both states, before slogging over the Appalachian Mountains.

So far, a state of emergency has been declared in five states - South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland and Washington DC.

North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper said on Tuesday: "This storm is a monster". But it could have been worse: Labor Day marked the end of the peak tourism season in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and other coastal getaways.

Airlines had also canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. It's undertain where exactly Florence will make landfall, after a shift in its track put more of the Southeast in danger.

The hospital's president, Ronnie Sloan, said it is remaining open for "the same reason we got into health care".

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate and authorities urged them to get going before the streets become inundated. This will bring significant storm surge to parts of the shoreline.

An infra-red satellite image of hurricane Florence approaching the North Carolina coast early Thursday, September 13.

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Wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues for airports in the coastal Carolinas, FlightAware's Orsi said.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

Florence was about 235 miles east southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and about 280 miles east southeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C., moving northwest at 17 mph, as of 5 a.m. EDT Thursday, according to the NHC. The Saffir-Simpson scale that meteorologists use to measure hurricanes reflects only the wind speeds involved in the storm, and right now Hurricane Florence's winds are hovering at maximum speeds of about 110 miles per hour (175 km/h). North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Charles Light and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.

Visit our sister site Live Science for the latest Hurricane Florence forecast.

"This evolution will produce storm surges similar to that of a more intense, but smaller, hurricane, and thus the storm surge values seen in the previous advisory are still valid". "Because I don't know that we can go in and get you".

"I'm not going to lie: I'm scared", she said.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Mr Deal said.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired non-profit director.

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