Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Florence in Alamance: Prepare for flooding, even without direct hit

Florence in Alamance: Prepare for flooding, even without direct hit

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence - with winds of up to 140 miles per hour - is expected to be "extremely dangerous" when it hits the East Coast early Friday.

Forecasters do not expect that strength to change much before it makes landfall late Thursday or early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina border.

Coastal residents fleeing a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 130 miles per hour winds and drenching rain that could last for days.

Forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

"Storm surge watches are in effect in these areas - hurricane watches are in effect for coastal South Carolina, North Carolina". But the hurricane center said it is "still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday".

Communities could lose electricity for weeks, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said. "What is flooding going to do to our home, our city?"

Officials say Hurricane Florence is likely to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border.

So far, more than one million people along the coasts of North and SC and southern Virginia have fled.

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The center of the storm is expected to move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and will approach the Carolinas by Thursday.

The storm could also to affect weather here in the United Kingdom, though the Met Office has said it is "uncertain" about what the impact could be.

The storm's 175-mile (282 km) wide "cone of probability" suggests the storm will likely hit North Carolina's coast near Cape Fear, but storms fall outside the cone one-third of the time, according to The Weather Channel.

While one man concluded: 'We are about to get pounded, but since we have absolutely no control over it, all you can do is laugh, and pray for the best'. Florence's deluge will extend inland for hundreds of miles, which would flood virtually every river and stream in the Carolinas.

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to take back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.

"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

SC authorities have turned four motorways into one-way routes away from the coast to speed the exodus.

When the National Hurricane Updates shared a map of the category four hurricane, dubbed "the storm of a lifetime", on Facebook, people were quick to compare the pink round-headed shape displaying the devastation to something a lot less serious.

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