Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Storm Florence: State Of Emergency Declared As US Braces For ‘Monster Hurricane’

Storm Florence: State Of Emergency Declared As US Braces For ‘Monster Hurricane’

"This one really scares me", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned.

In addition to flooding the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (4 m), Florence could drop 15 to 25 inches (38 to 64 cm) of rain, with up to 35 inches (89 cm) in some spots, forecasters said.

Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the states in decades. The storm is now about 950 miles from the Carolina coast line, but moving in that direction at about 15 mph.

"Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland", the NHC warned.

North Carolina State postponed its home game against West Virginia University in Raleigh, North Carolina, adding that tickets will remain valid if the schools are able to reschedule the contest for later in the season.

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different".

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going". Don't wait for emergency responders to rescue you. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12ft [of water]". It remains an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday night.

President Donald Trump on September 11 declared states of emergency for North and SC, to open avenues for federal aid.

AccuWeather Founder and President Dr Joel N. Myers said: "There will be extensive damage inflicted by Hurricane Florence due to its predicted path, which is perpendicular to the coast, rather than at an oblique angle".

Hurricane Florence could inflict the hardest punch North Carolina has seen in more than 60 years.

In the six decades since, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.

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"If they say leave, leave", said Jennifer Forte, who was in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on Tuesday and headed toward Greenville.

The storm surge warning issued by the National Hurricane Center extends from the South Santee River in SC to Duck, on North Carolina's barrier islands known as the Outer Banks.

This means catastrophic floods could follow if the hurricane stalls inland.

The hurricane is expected to dump heavy rain throughout the region and FEMA officials said it's not just a coastal problem.

Florence has forced people to cut their holidays short along the coast, while the storm's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons.

All signs pointed to a stronger, slower, wider and wetter hurricane in the days ahead, forecasters said.

A warm ocean gives hurricanes their energy, and Florence is moving over an area with water temperatures nearing 85F (30C), hurricane specialist Eric Blake reported.

Strader pointed to the fact that since 1940, the population residing in Florence's cone of probability grew 1325 per cent, including a large spurt in the wake of Hurricane Hugo - the last major hurricane to make landfall in the Carolinas - in 1989.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic.

"The atmosphere overall, before the potential landfall, certainly looks like we are going to have a very risky hurricane on our hands", he said. "One thing we do know is when you replace natural vegetation with parking lots and homes and impervious surfaces, you increase the runoff".

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