Monday, 24 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4: What that means for Duke, Durham

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas Hurricane Florence on the brink of becoming major storm as 165 km/h winds menace U.S. east coast
| 11 September, 2018, 08:10

Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Florence for all coastal counties in SC on Monday, including Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties.

Florence could be the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the Carolinas since Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Winds are now 105 miles per hour. Regardless of where the storm makes landfall, Florence is expected to bring a tremendous storm surge that could be life threatening. Florence "is expected to remain an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC said in a statement.

In North Carolina, officials already had ordered some 250,000 residents and visitors to begin evacuating the Outer Banks barrier islands.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster said at a press conference.

People who live in the following coastal areas must evacuate beginning noon Tuesday. "Everyone in Virginia need to be prepared", said Northam.

The US Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

Residents of coastal areas are boarding up homes and packing their bags as residents brace for Florence's wrath.


Although Florence's path has wavered over the past week, forecasters now project that the storm could still pack a Category 4 or even 5 punch upon landfall, which will occur along the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast (most likely upon the Carolinas). She believes her home, built in 2009, will be secure, but it's hard to foresee all potential hazards.

She, her husband and children will make the 4½-hour drive to family in Dover, Delaware, as soon as he is cleared from duty.

"You probably have the tip of the iceberg", said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at tracking firm GasBuddy, adding that many consumers are anticipating "a run on stations later".

A very risky situation ahead this week for parts of the East Coast.

Myrtle Beach hardware stores and supermarkets were busy ringing up sales of bottled water, plywood and generators.

By noon EDT on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats.

Some models are now predicting the hurricane will make landfall Thursday morning in the Carolinas. Information on the storm-tide sensor deployment and the incoming data will be available on the USGS "Flood Event Viewer" at https://stn.wim.usgs.gov/FEV/#FlorenceSep2018. The United States was hit with a series of high-powered hurricanes past year, including Hurricane Maria, which killed about 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Harvey, which killed 68 and caused an estimated $1.25 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in Houston.

Hurricanes are also getting windier, wetter, and more powerful because of climate change. Electricity and power can go out for days. "And not just Virginia, but our neighbors to the south".

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