"Monster" Hurricane Florence Aims to Drench Carolinas

Cristina Cross
September 16, 2018

It is about 485 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

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.

The National Hurricane Center's latest model for Hurricane Florence shows a similar track that has been reported throughout Wednesday.

The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring risky rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina and 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says. But the change was probably temporary and didn't do anything to lessen the danger, said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Meanwhile, those choosing to ride out the storm in evacuation zones are being told first responders will not be available to help them once Florence makes landfall. But this estimate could shift, and again, the site of landfall is still not determined. This is a very wide storm, so its effect will be felt by many.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company write the most commercial property insurance coverage in North and SC, according to a report on Wednesday by Moody's, citing data from SNL Financial. Recovery could take weeks or months. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

Hurricane Florence is on track to blast the southeastern US coast with ferocious winds and rain, but it may also swamp hog manure pits and coal ash dumps, spreading their toxins; as well as inundate nuclear reactors in the region, according to news reports.

Hurricane Florence closes in on U.S. east coast
It is unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were urged to evacuate. Emergency workers monitor hurricane progress at the Emergency operations centre in Wilmington, North Carolina.

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast, is it time for a radical rethink on what it means to be prepared?

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in coastal area of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. President Trump has declared an emergency in the three states and says the government is "as ready as anybody has ever been".

Crews board up the Oceanic restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house", Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his auto. "It's going to happen".

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do".

"This storm is about flooding", Perry Samson, a professor of climate and space science at the University of MI, told Live Science.

Greg Postel, hurricane and storm specialist for The Weather Channel. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175miles.

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