Toxic Waste Sites and Nuclear Plants Lie in Path of Hurricane Florence

Toxic Waste Sites and Nuclear Plants Lie in Path of Hurricane Florence

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday as the monster storm moved in for an extended stay along the Southeastern coast, promising to drench the properties of 10 million people with huge amounts of water.

As of 2 p.m. EDT today (Sept. 12), Florence was a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) at its location about 435 miles (700 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It's maximum sustained wind speeds were still measuring more than 100 miles per hour as of early Thursday.

"Florence dominates the waters with unsafe life-threatening marine conditions this period, as it almost stalls near Cape Fear, and drifts slowly toward the soutwest along the southeast North Carolina coasts", wrote National Weather Service meteorologists in Wilmington, N.C. about the forecast Friday and Saturday.

Hurricane Florence is closing in on the Carolinas Thursday morning as more than 10 million people brace for the worst.

It's unclear exactly how many people fled ahead of the storm, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

The National Hurricane Center warned Thursday that Florence will still bring an increased risk of life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic flash flooding and risky winds to those states and the surrounding region. North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

"Where 9 to 12 feet of storm surge are forecast and the beaches from the Outer Banks to the Wilmington area, 6 to 9 feet of storm surge are forecast over several astronomical high tide cycles", Goldstein said.

The National looks at the science behind Hurricane Florence and why it's being called a once-in-a-generation storm. This is bigger than both of the Carolinas and THIS is why rain is the biggest issue. The list of canceled football games included No. 13 Virginia Tech's home game against East Carolina, No. 14 West Virginia's trip to North Carolina State and No. 18 UCF's visit to North Carolina.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC. The storm surge will continue into Friday, and catastrophic inland flooding is expected near and north of Florence's path.

"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".

Just as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Southeast, the area covered by hurricane-force winds has doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds 74 miles per hour or greater. "Now it's just taking the brunt of the storm".

And Cooper said the state is expecting significant flooding even after the storm passes. Forecasters predict it will make landfall between Thursday and Friday. Wilmington and Brunswick County communities like Bolivia and Oak Island have seen rainfall up to 8 inches. Hurricane Helene is veering toward Europe. It's moving north, and is expected to turn away from the U.S.

Not everyone was taking Florence too seriously: About two dozen locals gathered Thursday night behind the boarded-up windows of The Barbary Coast bar as Florence blew into Wilmington.

"Little change in strength is expected before the eye of Florence reaches the coast, with slow weakening expected after the center moves inland or meanders near the coast", the advisory said. The NHC is encouraging officials in northeastern Mexico, Texas and Louisiana to monitor its progress.