Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears

City taken by one of the Expedition Three crew members on the International Space Stati City taken by one of the Expedition Three crew members on the International Space Stati
Sandra Phillips | 16 September, 2018, 16:16

Although slow weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Scientists have filmed an astonishing video of the interior of Hurricane Florence, as the storm bears down on North and SC.

Florence is now a powerful Category 3 storm with winds of 125mph, and is expected to strengthen before making landfall along the Carolina coast later this week.

Massive waves of up to 83 feet were measured inside the storm on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch said, citing satellite altimeter data.

"The better prepared anybody is, it can potentially reduce the impact of the claims if you can better harden your facilities against damage", said Robert O'Brien, a managing director in the national property-claims practice at Marsh, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Hurricane Florence put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as the monster storm closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast.

Strong winds, storm surge, and flash flooding are major concerns for Florence and rains in excess of 20 inches can be expected in the Cape Fear region. This storm is going to be a direct hit.

"We have not been asked to take evacuees yet and will evaluate our capability at the time of the request", Ralston said.

Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear reactors in the three-state region.

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Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

Gerst photographed the storm 400 kilometers, or 248 miles, above the eye.

Another FEMA spokesman said: "I need to re-emphasise this is a unsafe storm".

State and federal officials have frequently urged residents in the target zone to evacuate but there was resistance along the coast.

Numerous beach communities expected to be impacted by Hurricane Florence have livestreams to monitor the surf conditions.

The Charleston International Airport will close Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. until further notice, reports George Kearns of South Carolina Public Radio.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

Florence will bring large rainfall totals through Saturday in North Carolina, north SC and Virginia, causing catastrophic flash flooding.

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