Friday, 21 September, 2018

Time almost up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast - Story | WFLD

Hurricane Florence Looks Downright Terrifying From Space Watch a livestream of Hurricane Florence bearing down on North Carolina
Cary Marshall | 14 September, 2018, 14:24

The National Hurricane Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that Hurricane Florence may lead to a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall.

The coastal area of SC features hundreds of inlets while North Carolina has barrier islands miles away from the mainland. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles (135 kilometers) north of Wilmington. The highest numbers are being reported in New Hanover County.

Federal emergency management officials warned that Florence - while weakening slightly - remains a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

"Its slow movement will allow rain to continue to pile up in areas from Jacksonville to Wilmington seeing as much as 10" to 20" of rainfall.

"I came to video it so I can remember what it looked like before the storm because I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here (after Florence)", she said. "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

- The outer bands of Hurricane Florence, which has downgraded to a Category 2 storm, have reached the Carolina coastline as of Thursday morning.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Governor Cooper said, with more facilities being opened. An additional 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Prisoners were affected, too.

More news: Cruise ship bound for Bermuda docks in Portland to avoid Hurricane Florence

Even if Florence were downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, it would still cause extensive damage, Abrams says. More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

The next concern for airlines is Tropical Storm Isaac, which threatens to hammer vacation destinations in the Caribbean, as Hurricanes Irma and Maria did a year ago.

About midday on Thursday (local time), Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water.

Airlines have cancelled more than 1,200 flights and some of the largest airports on the coast of the Carolinas are closed through September 14. Its forward movement increased slightly to 6 miles per hour (9 kph). Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometres from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometres.

A camera at the Frying Pan Tower located 34 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina has been livestreaming a view of the Atlantic Ocean since May, and is powering through the storm to dutifully record an American flag over the rising waves.

The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Wednesday night, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday, NHC said. Its surge of ocean water could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 13 feet, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolinas this week, airlines cancelled more than 1,200 flights.

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