'Monster' Hurricane Florence Barrels Toward the Carolinas

Cesar Mills
September 13, 2018

Moving and storage company U-Haul will offer 30 days of free storage at its facilities across the Carolinas and Virginia as Hurricane Florence begins to bear down on the U.S. East Coast.

Hurricane conditions will likely hit on Friday, but tropical storm conditions will arrive on Thursday, according to the hurricane center.

Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters).

"It is imperative that everyone follow local evacuation orders", President Trump tweeted Wednesday, along with a satellite video of the mammoth storm swirling through the Atlantic.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was expected to hover along the southern edge of the North Carolina coast from Thursday night until making landfall Saturday morning.

The storm could cause a life-threatening storm surge, essentially walls of water, ahead of landfall which is why FEMA warns that Wednesday is the last feasible day to evacuate areas vulnerable to the storm.

Florence is forecast to trigger severe flash flooding as it dumps up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas. North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

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If a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) does make landfall along the southeast coast, the rarity of such an event is relevant. Virginia joined North and SC in declaring a state of emergency ahead of the storm, which is expected to be a major hurricane.

"We could maybe get some outer bands or very, very outer bands of the hurricane", said Jeremy Geiger, a weather service meteorologist.

Florence is forecast to dump up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC.

"But despite that, bad things can happen when you are talking about a storm this size", he added. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

But despite the potentially devastating hurricane, forecast to make landfall on Friday with 130mph winds, people tried to offer some "relief" in the silence before the storm. "I am going to stack it up on some cinder blocks and see if that will help", resident Austin Hembree said.

A crew of about 80 rescuers from Montgomery County is headed to SC to help deal with Hurricane Florence and its aftermath.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989. Winds from the east have been causing coastal flooding this week along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, with high tides as much as 2 feet above normal in Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Mary's counties. The hurricane centre also adjusted its projected track but stayed north of what most computer models were showing to prove some continuity with past forecasts.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac, but neither packs the deadly punch of Florence.

Other reports by GizPress

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