Florence could hit with punch not seen in more than 60 years

12 September, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Florence strengthens to Category 4 storm

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says it expects the storm to make landfall in North Carolina or SC late Thursday into Friday as "an extremely risky major hurricane".

More than a million people are expected to flee low-lying areas, as SC and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuations of coastal areas starting on Tuesday.

McMaster has already declared a state of emergency in SC and asked President Donald Trump for a federal declaration ahead of the storm, which intensified Monday to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 kph).

Sustained winds were 215 km/h Tuesday morning, but it remains a Category 4 storm and is expected to intensify to near Category 5 status as it slows over very warm coastal waters.

Hurricane Florence is on the brink of becoming a major storm, strengthening rapidly as it rolls across the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast.

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"It's an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane. the forecast shows Florence stalling over North Carolina, bringing days and days of rain".

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore. That means high rainfall totals and consequent inland flooding could become a huge concern.

Some forecasters have predicted that Florence may stall over Virginia and the Carolinas for possibly several days, which would bring catastrophic flooding to the area.

Fort Sumter National Monument, located in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor, is closed until further notice due to the hurricane threat, according to the National Park Service.

A NY task force, made up of NYPD and FDNY members, is sending 82 people and six canines to North Carolina to help.

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Major airlines that serve the mid-Atlantic region are offering change-fee waivers and flexible rebooking in areas expected to be in the path of Florence.

Mr Kottlowski said the areas that are going to be most vulnerable will be Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, North Carolina - the two areas where the centre of the storm could make landfall. "You need to look at the cone", which he said now spans the distance from South Carolina's Edisto Beach to the border between North Carolina and Virginia - a distance of about 500 miles.

Byard deflected a reporter's question about Maria, saying FEMA is focused on the incoming storm, which is set to make landfall Thursday evening. A large swath of Virginia could also see between 10 and 15 inches of rain.

WEATHER experts are continuing to warn residents of The Bahamas about the sea swells Hurricane Florence will generate this week.

"Prepare NOW to evacuate you and your family", Shepherd tweeted Monday. Helene is expected to veer north well before coming close to the coast, though Isaac is expected to turn into a hurricane as it continues heading west towards the Windward Islands, the Miami Herald wrote.

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