Thursday, 21 March, 2019

3 million could lose power when Hurricane Florence hits

South Carolina Highway Patrol cars escorting a line of vehicles as residents prepare ahead of Hurricane Florence's descent on Sept 11 2018. To speed evacuations officials in South Carolina reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so that all Here's what the DC region can expect from Hurricane Florence
Cary Marshall | 13 September, 2018, 12:55

A hurricane hunter with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew into the category three Hurricane Florence and reported back Wednesday what he was seeing.

Commenting on the potential destruction, he added: "It is estimated that the storm surge will flood thousands of structures".

The eye of category 4 Hurricane Florence is "chilling, even from space", according to German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who posted this image to Twitter on September 12, 2018.

While one man concluded: 'We are about to get pounded, but since we have absolutely no control over it, all you can do is laugh, and pray for the best'.

Florence is also expected to lose speed and "hover" once it reaches the coast, which will intensify the impacts of its heavy rainfall and storm surges, Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), said in a Facebook Live update earlier today.

Mr Cooper's warnings were echoed by his SC counterpart, Henry McMaster, who stated that emergency services may not be able to reach residents if they remain in areas where evacuation orders have been issued.

"We're ready", Cooper said. Also, for residents and property owners in flood-prone zones, do not forget to protect your property by moving valuables to higher levels and keep important documents in a waterproof container.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (one meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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"I'm very concerned about this storm", Cooper said. Its maximum sustained winds are expected to top 145 miles per hour before losing some steam near the coast.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in the state. You're going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas.

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Florence, on its way across the Atlantic Ocean toward North Carolina, dominates photos and video from the International Space Station, where astronauts are using wide-angle lenses because of how far the storm extends.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles. But, he says, the medical staff at the school was helping him secure more pills. When he packed up the 20-pound brown paper bag he left town with, he says, he remembered to bring his nebulizer, toiletries, and a change of clothes, but left behind his blood pressure medication.

Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Roper Hospital, which is part of the larger Roper St. Francis Healthcare system and operates nearly 400 beds, is going to remain open and maintain full staffing levels throughout the storm in case they have to receive people who chose to stay in place during the hurricane.

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