Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Fears as Hurricane Florence nears USA coast

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT Florence’s quiet potential disaster: Hog manure
Sandra Phillips | 14 September, 2018, 13:13

The National Hurricane Center says the Neuse River near the city is recording more than 10 feet (3.05 meters) of inundation. But the effect on major air travel hubs in the Southeast is expected to be less than feared.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves".

A zoomed in image of the eye of Hurricane Florence. More flights were expected to be grounded and more airports were preparing to shut down operations as the storm moves inland.

Officials warn of life-threatening storm surges in North and SC as the hurricane moves towards land with maximum sustained wind speeds of 90mph (150 km/h). The category ranking of storms only describes the speed of the storm's sustained winds. The storm was moving northwest at 17 miles per hour (28 km/h). "It's chilling, even from space", said Gerst.

ADCIRC predicts Florence's winds will cause 9 to 13 feet of storm surge in some areas along the North Carolina coast.

Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland. "The storm surge forecast associated with this storm has not changed".

Overall, Florence is about 644 kilometres wide (400 miles).

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane yesterday evening with peak winds of 150km/h.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned people: "Today the threat becomes a reality".

Florence was being followed in the Atlantic by two other storms - Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers). Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

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Florence is now expected to pass over much of SC, with storm force winds beginning Thursday and hurricane force winds on Friday, said John Quagliariello with the National Weather Service in Columbia.

To put the rain in perspective, Wilmington's three-day rainfall record was 19.66 inches set in 2010, said Jordan Baker, a meteorologist with the NWS Wilmington office. "It's something we haven't seen. ever".

"If there is a question in your heart, just leave", Malphrus said. Flash flooding is going to be a big issue soon - certainly catastrophic.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press.

It is the storm's movement and not its strength that has forecasters and officials anxious.

"This is a life-threatening situation".

Winds were already picking up along the coastline early Thursday and some minor flooding was reported on the Outer Banks, barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, and in some seaside coastal towns.

Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday. Lanes on Interstate 26 that were reversed on Tuesday will resume eastbound traffic at 6 p.m. on Thursday, state officials announced.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

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