Search-and-rescue team from Maryland heads to SC before storm

15 September, 2018, 17:56 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Hurricane Florence evacuations

Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said that while Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday and into Friday, it will still be an "extremely unsafe major hurricane" when it makes landfall.

At 8 a.m. on Wednesday the storm was located about 855 km southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. "If you haven't already evacuated, shore up your house as best you can", Samson recommended.

"If you're uncomfortable, if you had damage during Irma or Matthew, you may want to consider leaving", Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said.

The landfall location is expected to be between Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence is expected to come ashore as a major hurricane on Friday.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in coastal area of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate over the past few days, and the homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

He cautioned residents to closely monitor Hurricane Florence. President Trump has declared an emergency in the three states and says the government is "as ready as anybody has ever been".

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.

It said the hurricane was about 520 miles (820km) southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Wednesday.


Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

"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.

The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring risky rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina and 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says.

Some areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 inches of rain through early next week in the area shaded in purple in the second image above.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm. "I'm a little bit scared right now", she said, "but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix". The storm's forecast has shifted southward in the last 24 hours.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and the likelihood of it lingering around the coast for days - would bring seawater surging on to land and torrential downpours.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter warned of the storm's dangers and praised his administration's handling of past hurricanes, rejecting criticism for its response to Hurricane Maria previous year in Puerto Rico.

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