Big and vicious: Hurricane Florence closes in on Carolinas

13 September, 2018, 14:00 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and NY, will move east - but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

Storm surge of 13 feet on top of a high tide at 7 feet could overwhelm Carolina Beach.

"I'm not sure it's fair to say this will be worse than Harvey, but there are definitely similarities in the model guidance", Ventrice added. "Everyone was sold out", she said.

"I can't emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm".

About 300,000 people have been evacuated from South Carolina, McMaster said.

"The current forecast for both the impact and aftermath of the hurricane would require those officials to divert critical resources from what could be much more significant duties", UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement.

Coastal residents along the Carolinas encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared its coast with winds and drenching rain that could last for days.


Significantly, hurricane-force winds extended 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the eye, and tropical-storm-force winds reached 175 miles (280 kilometers) outward, making outdoor preparations hard or risky as early as Thursday. It's going to destroy infrastructure.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. One computer model forecasts 27 inches of rain in Wilmington, North Carolina by Tuesday.

"Unlike Puerto Rico they have very strong power companies", he said of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive.

The storm's path put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as it closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast. Typically, local governments in North Carolina make the call on evacuations. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

"Everyone who is staying here is either a real old-timer, someone who doesn't know where would be better, or someone involved in emergency operations one way or another", said Fox.

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