Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Georgia governor declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence May Stall Off Wilmington, North Carolina White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence
Sandra Phillips | 15 September, 2018, 22:28

A view of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station.

The storm, which fell from category four to category three on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, is expected to strengthen despite it weakening on Wednesday.

President Trump said the federal government and first responders stand ready to assist, but even so, "bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size".

The storm looked likely to make landfall on the coast of North and SC but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

As the storm moves inland, forecasters warned, the surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.

Meteorologists are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches of rain expected in parts of SC.

The storm made landfall Friday in North Carolina, bringing punishing winds, heavy rain and record flooding that drove some residents to seek shelter in attics or upper floors of homes. He rescinded the order for Beaufort and Jasper counties Tuesday morning, but officials have not ruled out the possibility of another evacuation order.

Hurricane Florence seen from space is a 'no-kidding nightmare'
Watching the scene unfold from space, German Alexander Gerst, an astronaut on board the ISS , tweeted photos of the enormous storm.

Florence downgraded to tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas
Wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were reported at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, the hurricane center said. It is not know if the dolphins came into shore to find shelter from the storm or if they were dragged in the the high winds.

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A storm surge warning has been issued from South Santee River, SC, to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Michael Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University, calculates that Florence will deduct about $200 million of output a day from North Carolina's $550 billion-a-year economy until business returns to something close to normal.

Mass evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence are still taking place while residents and tourists hope to evade what could be the strongest hurricane in decades to strike the East Coast.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Deal cited the storm's "forecasted southward track" in a statement declaring a state of emergency.

"There is a chance it only potentially grazes the coast and just has most of the hurricane remain offshore, in which case it would continue to be over warm water", she said.

Experts are saying Florence, a "monster", could be one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the East Coast. "The rain may last for days, and not hours".

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