Saturday, 17 November, 2018

WHAT'S HAPPENING: Florence begins to batter Carolina coast

Shelves at a store in Raleigh North Carolina emptied of supplies as people stock up ahead of Hurricane Florence Shelves at a store in Raleigh North Carolina emptied of supplies as people stock up ahead of Hurricane Florence
Cary Marshall | 14 September, 2018, 15:33

Patio furniture is seen in the pool in an effort to keep it from flying away as people prepare ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence on September 12, 2018 in Myrtle Beach.

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

A life-threatening storm surge is now highly likely along portions of the coastlines of SC and North Carolina, and a storm surge warning is in effect for a portion of this area.

The National Hurricane Center states that these storm surges are highly likely along portions of the coastlines of North Carolina and SC.

While Florence is no longer considered a major hurricane, its reach has expanded, threatening residents from Georgia to Virginia. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

Forecast models predict Florence's center may slow to a crawl just off North Carolina early Friday and make a southwesterly turn - punishing the coast while moving perhaps only 2 to 3 miles per hour.

Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding. "It wants to get stronger", he said of the storm.

People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down on the coast for a direct hit in a low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency "in light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall".

"Finally I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence". The Wilmington area can now expect 9-to-13-foot storm surges if Florence's peak impact coincides with high tide, Brunswick County coastal areas west of Southport can expect 6-to-9-foot surges. 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.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said. "Because it's Mother Nature". The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks. She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told reporters. It urged residents to heed evacuation orders.

For the first time since since 2008, the Atlantic has for named storms simultaneously.

Hurricane force winds will emanate up to 70 miles from the centre of the storm, say meteorologists.

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