Friday, 21 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence Charleston: Latest Forecast & Track

Hurricane Florence hours away from Carolinas Hurricane Florence: Wind and rain hit US coast ahead of system making landfall
Cary Marshall | 14 September, 2018, 09:22

The massive cyclone was expected to make landfall on the North Carolina coast Friday, bringing "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding while slowly drifting over SC through Saturday.

In the Carolinas, forecasters said that given the storm's size and a likely sluggish track, the hurricane could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial and farm waste sites.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles. It is expected to stall and hover over the Carolinas, dumping enormous amounts of rainfall on the region, and causing massive destruction and flooding.

Even though Florence has weakened to a Category 2 system with winds of 165 kilometers per hour, forecasters say the storm remains a destructive force.

Florence is now moving to the northwest at 17 kilometers per hour.

Forecasters expect Florence to hit the Carolinas early in the morning on September 14. The storm was moving northwest at 10 miles per hour. Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland.

The storm was already generating 83-foot (25m) waves at sea on Wednesday.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane late Wednesday night as it approached North and SC.

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Pablo Santos, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told VOA that when the center of Florence comes ashore and shifts north as expected, it will still be "catastrophic" due tin a large extent to the storm surge. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today.

"Your time is running out", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said midmorning Thursday. The power company has warned that up to 3 million people could be left without power for an extended period of time following Hurricane Florence.

Another video from NOAA's GOES-East weather satellite caught a different view of Hurricane Florence.

Some people, such as Jennie, are refusing to heed evacuation warnings.

Early on Friday, the downtown area of the city of New Bern, on the Trent and Neuse rivers near the North Carolina coast, was underwater as emergency crews conducted several rescues, according to reports on social media.

The worst may come as the gargantuan storm swirls past the shore and dumps days of rain on mountainous interiors, potentially creating disastrous mudslides. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth. Anyone in an evacuation zone in the Carolinas and Virginia must leave NOW if they haven't yet. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia declared emergencies to help speed up government aid efforts.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.

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