UNC, NC State cancel football games due to Hurricane Florence
15 September, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Grady King
Winds and massive waves will pound coastal North and SC when Florence makes landfall on Friday, and its rains will take a heavy toll for miles inland, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned.
With Hurricane Florence now forecast to make landfall in North Carolina late Thursday or early Friday, all area counties are under both hurricane and storm surge watches.
"Dangerous Florence", as the official update calls it, is highly likely to bring with it life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic flash flooding, and damaging hurricane-force winds across vast stretches of SC and North Carolina.
Florence is getting more organized and bigger as it barrels for North Carolina, with coastal residents fleeing what may be the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in 64 years.
If it makes landfall as predicted, Florence could become the northernmost Category 4 hurricane to hit the US since records were first kept in 1851.
"The key really is this thing is going to be a huge storm when it threatens the coast and this is just something that doesn't happen every day when you see things lining up as they are", he continued.
Duke is moving staff and equipment toward North Carolina's coast to monitor the disposal sites for coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity.
The winds cover an area more than 53,000 square miles - which is larger than the entire state of North Carolina. While it may or may not officially become a Category 5 storm, it will still be a major Hurricane at landfall. There's a lot of interactions going on between the storm and the environment, and I think that's what makes it a hard problem, but an important one to study.
As of Tuesday morning, hurricane force winds were extending up to 40 miles from the storm's center and "tropical storm force winds" were showing up as far away as 150 miles, said the National Weather Service.
If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe conditions.
In addition to strong winds, Florence brings the threat of a devastating storm surge - as high as 6-12 feet in the area from Cape Fear, N.C., to Cape Lookout, N.C.
Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and on its current path the eye of the storm will pass near Wilmington and the southern beach towns.
The National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon increased its rainfall forecast to 15 to 25 inches of rain and 35 inches in isolated spots. The potential area of impact includes a wide swath of the eastern coastline, with the greatest impacts anticipated in SC and North Carolina.
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EDT (1900 GMT) but already some 19,000 homes and businesses in the Carolinas and Virginia were without power by mid-afternoon. Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said .
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The hurricane's impacts could range from a strong storm surge to flooding from torrential rainfall and hurricane-force winds. The storm was located roughly 1,170 miles east-southeast of the Cape Fear region, and remained a unsafe Category 4 storm .
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Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday as communities up and down the East Coast monitor Tropical Storm Florence . The governor urged residents to begin making their preparations as the entire SC coast remains in the cone of uncertainty.
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