Saturday, 17 November, 2018

High surf from Florence means no cars on St. Johns County beaches

A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west north-westerly direction heading for the east ECU football team relocates to Orlando ahead of Florence
Cary Marshall | 14 September, 2018, 11:29

A National Weather Service satellite monitoring Hurricane Florence has recorded a wave reaching 83 feet in the storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 3 storm on Wednesday as peak winds eased to 125 miles per hour (205 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that storm surge watches and warnings are in effect Wednesday for the entire North Carolina coast and parts of SC.

As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. But it could have been worse: Labor Day marked the end of the peak tourism season in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and other coastal getaways. However, while the hurricane hasn't strengthened in terms of peak winds, the inner-core and outer wind fields have continued to expand, resulting in an increase the cyclone's total energy, which will create a significant storm surge event.

The most immediate threat to the Caribbean, Isaac, remained a tropical storm Wednesday as it neared the Lesser Antilles, where it was expected to arrive Thursday. The location was determined based on the track of Hurricane Florence and lodging availability, along with lessons learned from recent past difficulties returning home to an area impacted by widespread flooding.

Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying. "We just do a deep clean when they leave".

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Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps.

"We normally take pets for one floor but during the hurricane we make exceptions", said Maureen McGuire, director of sales at Wyndham Garden Jacksonville near Interstate 95 and J. Turner Butler Boulevard. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.

"We're a good community up there".

"Data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft along with satellite imagery and various intensity estimates indicate that Florence has weakened instead of strengthening".

The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 12, 2018. At this time, Florence was a Category 2 hurricane.

Even miles away from the Atlantic, North Carolina residents in low-lying areas are boarding up and emptying stores. Smaller enclaves of Gullah, referred to as Geechee in some areas, are scattered along the Southeast coast from North Carolina to Florida.

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