Hurricane Florence: Carolinas brace for 'storm of lifetime'

Leroy Wright
September 16, 2018

The outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Florence are moving onshore along North Carolina's barrier islands as the massive storm bears down on the Southeastern coastline.

Outside this zone of destructive winds, damaging winds are still likely, even some distance inland from the coast, which would lead to minor structural damage, downed trees and widespread power outages.

It has become likely that the storm will reverse course early next week and turn back north toward West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, albeit significantly weakened.

While the storm has since weakened, a storm surge of more than 12-feet and almost 30-inches of rain is still expected.

"I said, 'Why get on the road like this?"

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that has since been downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a hotel in Wilmington several miles inland.

According to the National Hurricane Center's "hurricane hunter" airplane, waves of 83-feet were measured near the eye of Florence on Monday.

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Tropical Storm Florence was downgraded from a risky Category 1 storm Friday, but millions have still been affected.

The storm's forward motion has slowed 11km/h since Wednesday (local time), which was predicted as the storm nears the coast. He said on Thursday he was focused on Florence but that he had followed all statutes and laws would cooperate with any investigation.

It's unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km)". But the danger comes not so much from the wind as from the storm surges, which could raise the sea level to 4 meters in some points and flood the coast. That said, the storm still brought powerful storm surges and unsafe flooding.

Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

With South Carolina's beach towns now more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. on Friday and left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power in the state.

Florence was moving west-southwest at about 5 miles per hour (7 km/h), with its centre located over eastern SC. The storm is moving northwest at 17 miles per hour (27 kph).

Rain: Based on the 11 a.m. forecast by the National Hurricane Center, Charlotte is now expected to receive between 6 and 12 inches.

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