Evacuations in North Carolina as hurricane Florence roars closer

11 September, 2018, 13:27 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • Hurricane Florence: South Carolina Still In Danger Zone

The National Hurricane Center said Florence was expected to slam into the coast around North and SC as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane on Thursday or Friday.

By midday Monday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center upgraded Florence to a Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

According to the latest Hurricane Florence forecast tracker model runs from the National Hurricane Center, the storm is appearing to trend slightly more southwesterly, which could put the massive storm close to the South Carolina-North Carolina border at landfall. "Florence is forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday".

If Florence continues on its current forecast track, life-threatening conditions will be possible in North Carolina and SC at the end of next week with unsafe storm surge and strong winds possible, in addition to flooding that would impact the coasts and areas further inland.

As a rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast coast, behind it Hurricane Helene, Tropical Storm Isaac and one other potential tropical storm are all brewing.

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday", the NHC said Sunday.

Tropical Storm Florence has intensified into a hurricane, threatening to slam the East Coast later this week. Storm surge and freshwater flooding from rainfall could become life-threatening risks, especially from SC through the mid-Atlantic.

Florence crossed the 74 miles per hour threshold from tropical storm to hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) as the National Hurricane Center warned it was expected to become an extremely unsafe major hurricane by Monday and remain that way for days.


Hurricane Isaac was expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northward into the open ocean as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak. Hurricane-to-tropical-storm-force winds could extend inland, depending on the storm's track.

The governors of North and SC and Virginia declared states of emergency to give them time to prepare, and the Navy said ships in Virginia's Hampton Roads area would leave port for their own safety. It will continue to strengthen and likely upgrade to a category 4 by Tuesday. A Category 5 storm has the potential to cause catastrophic damage.

It was centered about 1,240 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear and moving west at 13 mph. Cotton, corn and soybean fields, along with massive hog and poultry facilities lie in Florence's forecast path.Smithfield Foods Inc., the No. 1 hog producer, and chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. saw North Carolina operations disrupted in 2016 in flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

The storm's winds grew by 35 miles-per-hour in the last 24 hours, and Florence is forecast to reach Category 4 status, one step short of the the most severe level, with 150 mile-per-hour winds by Wednesday.

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence", the hurricane center has been saying for days. "Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas". The storm was moving west at 13 miles per hour (20 kmh).

"Spaghetti" models for Hurricane Florence as of Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

Florencewill probably create more wind than Hurricane Hugo and more water than Hurricane Matthew, McMaster warned.

At 5 a, m., the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.6 North, longitude 48.1 West. Florence has been moving more toward the west and slightly northwest, potentially making direct landfall coming in from the east.

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