Science

More than 98,000 without power in U.S. Southeast as Florence approaches

More than 98,000 without power in U.S. Southeast as Florence approaches

And newly formed Subtropical Storm Joyce is not expected to threaten land soon. Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

The storm's center was about 145 miles (235 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as of Thursday night.

The graphic shows what it looks like when flooding reaches 3 feet, 6 feet, and 9 feet.

Florence, set to make landfall on Friday, was expected to cover nearly all of North Carolina in metres of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told reporters.

"We are now still beyond the three day prediction envelope and the cone of uncertainty that we have of where the storm will go is enormous so I'm really hesitant to make any predictions about what it's going to be like here in Western North Carolina", says Young.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

Some 11,000 power outages had already been reported in the state.

Sprayberry delivered one of his final briefings before the storm hit on Thursday as Hurricane Florence began her dramatic descent. To put this in context, we correctly predicted the full extent of Hurricane Harvey's economic damage to be $190 billion a year ago.

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

"Other sources are predicting a financial toll for Florence of up to $170 billion, and we think that is extreme when looking at Florence's track and impacts to people and their lives".

The National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Thursday night that a storm surge of 10 feet above normal level had already been reported by the National Weather Service office in Morehead City, N.C. Rainfall of up to 40 inches could occur in isolated areas of North and SC.

US forecasters said that the storm is slated to weaken after landfall.

Help may not be available for days due to the unsafe conditions for those who chose to remain behind along the coast.




After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

Storm surge isn't the only worry associated with the storm, either.

"If Florence fails to move well inland right away, it could remain as a hurricane for an extended period, due to proximity to warm ocean water", Kottlowski said.

The center downgraded Florence to a Category 1 hurricane, but warned that it still carried "very unsafe winds".

Thursday, a company spokesman said they had brought in around 20,000 linemen - almost half of them from out of state.

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water.

Strong high pressure to the north is likely to enhance winds, wave action and coastal flooding farther north along the coast than what would normally occur.

Garden City Fire District Chief Norman Knight told Murrells Inlet residents on Thursday that it was still not too late to leave.

Larger vessels, such as cruise or cargo ships, may have to reroute their courses to avoid Florence's risky seas.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958. At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists believe this zone to extend from near Morehead City, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and may extend inland to more than 25 miles. It could take several weeks to restore electricity. Members of the U.S. National Guard marched in and out of a room nearest the main entrance, their camouflage uniforms standing out in the drab room.

Governor Roy Cooper requested the added disaster declaration on Thursday (local time) because he anticipates what his office calls "historic major damage" across the state from the hurricane.

After spreading rain westward to the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas, torrential rain is forecast to reach parts of the northeastern US next week. Isaac may eventually be a threat for the US upper Gulf Coast next weekend.


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