Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence Shifts South as Carolinas Hunker Down

Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station
Cary Marshall | 16 September, 2018, 12:22

The National Hurricane Center said the hurricane's peak winds have decreased slightly to 125 mph but the size of the wind field has increased to outwards of 70 miles from the center.

State and federal officials have frequently urged residents in the target zone to evacuate but there was resistance along the coast. "It's a big one", he said. "The type of inundation we are talking about here happens very quickly".

The wide storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday and forecasters expect it to weaken further as it nears the shore.

As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. Elsewhere in the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic states, three to six inches of rain are expected, with up to 12 inches in isolated areas, according to the NHC.

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States, September 10, 2018. The National Hurricane Center said it had winds of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour and a threat of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard said at a press conference in Washington, warning of power outages, road closures, damage to infrastructure and potential loss of life.

The hurricane is about 470 miles (755km) east-southeast of Myrtle beach, SC with maximum sustained winds of 125mph (205km/h). In contrast to the hurricane center's official projection, a highly regarded European model had the storm turning southward off the North Carolina coast and coming ashore near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

President Trump has declared an emergency in the three states and says the government is "as ready as anybody has ever been".

Radiant Solutions said recent model guidance showed Florence was expected to stall off the coast of North Carolina and drift southwestward parallel to the coast before tracking inland into SC.

Staring down a hurricane
Staring down a hurricane

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland. Duke Energy serves around 4 million people in North and SC.

Another FEMA spokesman said: "I need to re-emphasise this is a unsafe storm".

Cooper, the governor of neighbouring North Carolina, ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County.

"They told me to bring a pillow and blanket", Whisler said. You never know, but we know.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989. Although construction along the 600-mile route was suspended last month over regulatory issues, crews and contractors will be on standby throughout the storm, spokesperson Aaron Ruby said. "I was in the same house and it stood fine".

On Wednesday, we got an inside look at the planes at Lakeland Linder Airport.

As Hurricane Florence gets closer to the Carolinas, Hurricane Hunters from the Bay area are flying right into the storm. The site lost enough material to fill around two-thirds of an Olympic-sized pool, the company said in a statement, adding that it did not believe the incident posed a risk to health or the environment. Isaac could bring heavy rainfall to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

More news: Dalton's 4 first-half TDs lead Bengals past Ravens

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