Hurricane Florence: Warnings of life-threatening surge

Ivan Schwartz
September 12, 2018

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Southeast as a Category 4 storm, South Carolina's governor has ordered evacuations along the state's entire coastline - which could affect up to a million people.

Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

In preparation for the storm, the governments of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have all declared states of emergency and are mobilizing resources.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for more than 1 million people in coastal areas of the Carolinas and Virginia.

In addition to flooding the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 12 feet (3.7 m), Florence could drop 20 inches to as much as 30 inches (51-76 cm) of rain in places, posing the risk of deadly flooding miles inland, forecasters said.

Although the focus on where Hurricane Florence makes landfall is drawing lots of attention, another looming threat could be the worst impact of this monster storm: disastrous, deadly flooding from days of relentless rain. "It's an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane. the forecast shows Florence stalling over North Carolina, bringing days and days of rain".

The agency has warned of "life-threatening" storm surges along the south-eastern seaboard and freshwater flooding due to a "prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event".

On top of that, expect incredibly high storm surge - basically a wall of water that could fall on and swallow parts of the coast.

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Virginia and North Carolina have also declared states of emergency , which allows them to call in the National Guard . NWS briefing there is an "increasing risk of life threatening impacts, including storm surge and inland flooding".

"Where should residents of "Zone A" evacuate to?"

Some forecasts call for Florence to stall out after it strikes the coast.

Last year, the United States was hit by three major hurricanes. It's expected to make landfall Thursday into Friday.

Major US military installments may be in the path of the Florence, including the largest Marine base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and the world's biggest Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia.

Large swells along parts of the US East Coast will spawn risky surf and rip currents.

One of the most high-profile games scheduled for this weekend has been called off, with No. 18 Central Florida announcing Tuesday its game at North Carolina has been canceled. The storm's track is now heading toward the North Carolina city of Jacksonville, about 50 miles north of Wilmington.

Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 miles per hour (209 kph) winds in 1954.

"While the Charlotte area is not completely out of the region that could face the effects of Hurricane Florence, for many of our neighbors to the east it is a safer alternative or a good stopping point as they seek shelter elsewhere", said Greg Walter, executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Other reports by GizPress

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