Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Hurricane Florence close to landfall in N. Carolina

Hurricane Florence close to landfall in N. Carolina

Despite the downgrade, Florence is expected to produce catastrophic flooding throughout the Carolinas.

First Warn forecaster Larry Sprinkle says Hurricane Florence will likely make landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane early Friday morning, possibly around 2 a.m.

And in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, hospitals are racing to evacuate patients. Strong winds could also spread inland into portions of the Carolinas. "A turn toward the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected by tonight and continuing into Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday", the bulletin said.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

Richmond, Va. -based Dominion Energy, which provides power in the northeastern corner of North Carolina, was reporting over 1,900 scattered outages.

Florence will then recurve across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

The storm surge is going to be potentially life-threatening for some areas along the U.S. coastline. The National Hurricane Center give it a 50 percent chance of organizing into at least tropical depression before it reaches the coast.

"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

"There is going to be a lot of rain".

On Wednesday, Florence was downgraded twice from its peak as a Category 4 storm which causes "catastrophic damage". At the same time, some areas can see up to 15 inches of rain, with a few places experiencing up to 30 inches.

This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

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Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did. Although the storm was downgraded to Category 1 before landfall, it still brought a risky risk of strong winds and hazardous flooding.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...

In addition, the threat of storm surges looms for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible.

A storm surge of 10 feet above normal levels was reported by the National Weather Service office in Morehead City, North Carolina, at the Cherry Branch Ferry Terminal on the Neuse River, courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Coastal Flooding: Outside the Storm Surge Watch area, minor coastal flooding could occur around the time of each high tide Thursday and Friday. However, the surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves, regardless of when the storm arrives.

Areas that will be particularly susceptible to tropical storm conditions will be our far southeastern zones.

Aside from safety concerns, Atlantic Coast Conference schools face scheduling obstacles, monetary implications and bowl considerations.

The storm's potential impact prompted President Donald Trump to make a surprise phone call to Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo on Thursday afternoon.

Isaac will move past the eastern Caribbean islands by late Thursday.

The storm is also predicted to bring historic rainfall of up to 35 inches to the Wilmington region.

That's because in addition to the extensive flooding, the hurricane is expected to knock out power along the coast, according to an analysis done by a team headed by Seth Guikema, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of MI.

Not everyone was taking Florence too seriously: About two dozen locals gathered Thursday night behind the boarded-up windows of The Barbary Coast bar as Florence blew into Wilmington. It's moving at 15 miles per hour, but as it nears the Carolina coast, it will dramatically slow down. That system could develop into a tropical depression by Friday.

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