Science

FLORENCE: Landfall expected Friday morning, inland flooding a threat

FLORENCE: Landfall expected Friday morning, inland flooding a threat

Hurricane Florence is being seen as a monster of a storm zeroing in on the Southeastern coast with more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights.

Even by major hurricane standards, Florence is a beast like no other.

FEMA officials wrote on Twitter people should not focus on the category of the storm - as of Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence was a Category 2 storm, indicating slower wind speeds - but rather should pay attention to the fact there will be extreme flooding in the Carolinas as a result.

With South Carolina's beach towns now more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.

Rain is expected to begin in Charlotte late Friday evening and into Saturday.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Florence packs sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are expected. The hurricane is now centered about 220 miles (354km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and 170 miles to the south-east of Wilmington, North Carolina. "Florence will then recurve across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week".

Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. on Friday and left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power in the state. Some roads were already impassable in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The storm was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour.

"There is going to be a lot of rain". That said, the storm still brought powerful storm surges and risky flooding.




Parts of the Carolinas could see as many 20 inches to 30 inches of rain, and isolated areas could receive 40 inches, over a week, AP noted.

Conditions will deteriorate through Thursday (local time): Starting along the coast, winds will accelerate, the rain will intensify, and the ocean will surge ashore. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding in Virginia and the Carolinas. Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315km.

Schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia, airlines canceled about 1,200 flights and counting, and coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied out.

A primary power supplier in the Carolinas, Duke Energy is already warning that some 75 percent of its 4 million customers could lose power - and not just for a few hours.

A state of emergency has also been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump would travel to the region next week unless his trip would disrupt clean-up and rescue efforts.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

Doesn't sound like a weak hurricane, does it? A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina. The commanding general says anyone remaining on base will have food, water and protection despite being in the projected path of the storm.

The full impact of the storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.


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