Fears as Hurricane Florence nears U.S. coast

14 September, 2018, 13:15 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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Late Wednesday, the storm had weakened slightly to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kph) as it approaches the North and SC coasts.

In addition to the life-threatening storm surge, Florence is also forecast to dump up to 40 inches (1m) of rain after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina Thursday night or Friday.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

Hurricane Florence could dump more rain on the state than Hugo because it's expected to stop over SC for several days, and could move across the SC coastline. "For these airports along the coast, like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues".

About midday on Thursday (local time), Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

With the brunt of the storm yet to come, a gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, a city near the coast, was already recording 3m of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated.

He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.


"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter.

More than 1,200 USA airline flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been canceled, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware.

North Carolina will likely see eight months' worth of rain in two to three days, said National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear in a video briefing. "The anxiety level has dropped substantially", Epperson said.

ADCIRC predicts Florence's winds will cause 9 to 13 feet of storm surge in some areas along the North Carolina coast. "And the vast majority of the time they are OK", she said.

"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective", University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face". Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers). "The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face".

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., September 13, 2018.

"If we need to re-examine the evacuation, that will be something that we will be looking at between now and tomorrow morning", he said.

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