'This Thing's Going to Explode': Hurricane Florence Packing Devastation and Catastrophic Flooding

Jo Lloyd
September 15, 2018

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is "in the bullseye" and urged people to "get ready now". "Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

"This is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years", President Donald Trump warned on Twitter.

Several inches of rain will fall across the state.

Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency September 8, enabling the South Carolina National Guard to activate guard members to get ready to support first responders and counties.

It may move a little north into Virginia or a little south into SC. "It is an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

The very center of that bullseye may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base. Tuesday's forecast showed 20in or more falling there, part of a wide stretch of rainfall that could total 10in or more over much of Virginia and drench the nation's capital. "I would say everybody should get out".

Long also said the storm was expected to make landfall as a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane. The initial damage is likely due come from the high winds and storm surge-high tides carried by the winds--and then by the huge soaking it will likely leave in both North and SC, as well as Virginia, as it moves slowly inland.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over the road.

Maps of Florence's trajectory showed its centre most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina.

A hurricane watch is now in effect for hundreds of miles of the U.S. East Coast, from Edisto Beach in SC up north to the North Carolina-Virginia border.

Florence was expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and wring itself out for days, unloading 1 to 2 1/2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 metres) of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. That would be Florence's storm surge, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

South Carolina State Veterinarian Boyd Parr has suspended some of the requirements for the interstate transport of animals to accommodate evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The largest airlines in the USA aren't the only carriers waiving change fees for Florence.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and this area of the ocean is seeing temperatures peak near 30C, hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

A new National Hurricane Center map predicting the likelihood of tropical storm-force winds stretches from northern Florida to eastern Kentucky and OH, and even up to the New York City area - although there's only a 5% to 10% chance of those conditions stretching that far north.

Eastern, Hurricane Florence was approximately 410 miles south of Bermuda and 975 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

North Carolina's game against No. 18 UCF won't take place Saturday and Wake Forest's Thursday night matchup with Boston College will start two hours earlier due to Hurricane Florence. They were only slightly diminished by the time the storm reached Raleigh, 150 miles (240 kilometers) inland.

Further east, forecasters are watching Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac in the Atlantic, and a patch of showers in the western Caribbean, which has a 30 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 2 days. After that point, it would be hard for people in the storm's path to either finish preparations or flee affected areas.

Meanwhile, hurricane Florence - the first major hurricane of the season - is heading toward the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, with forecasters warning it could be one of the most catastrophic storms to hit the region in decades.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Sept. 10 issued a mandatory evacuation order for coastal Virginia residents in Zone A in advance of Hurricane Florence, effective Tuesday, September 11 at 8 a.m.

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