Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

More than a thousand flights canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence

More than a thousand flights canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence

A 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center announced that storm surge warnings and hurricane warnings are in effect along the coastlines of North and SC, as life-threatening waves barrel toward the shores.

A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River in SC to Duck in North Carolina, and the hurricane warning is in effect for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Members of law enforcement work with the National Guard to direct traffic onto US Highway 501 as Hurricane Florence approaches the US east coast.

Parts of eastern North Carolina and SC could see up to 20 inches of rain, in addition to storm surge.

Florence's top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140mph to 110mph which reduced the hurricane's power from Category 4 to Category 2.

"In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again", he said.

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"The satellite presentation of Florence has changed little overnight with the eye waxing and waning in infrared imagery", according to the NHC's discussion of the hurricane.

The Washington Post also reported the current forecast for the hurricane as of 5 a.m. September 13 is as follows: Florence's top winds are now at 110 mph, and it is barreling northwest at 15 mph, about 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and 250 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C. It's moving northwest at 12 miles per hour. The family is hoping for the best, given the potential threats the hurricane poses to lives and properties.

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"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Mountain Time, somewhere between Atlantic Beach, NC and Savannah, GA. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.

"If you are in these areas, eastern North Carolina, eastern SC, and you've been told to evacuate", Novak said, "please do not think you can ride this one out". Once the heavy rain reaches Charlotte, periods of heavy downpours are expected to last several days.

Some Florence evacuees are steering toward Bristol Motor Speedway near the Tennessee-Virginia border and Atlanta Motor Speedway, where campgrounds have been opened for people fleeing the storm.

"The threat of rainfall has also not diminished, and these impacts will cover a large area regardless of exactly where the centre of Florence moves".

Heavy flooding is expected, with a storm surge up to 13ft (4 metres) in the area stretching from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, North Carolina. Floyd produced 24 inches of rain in some parts of the state, while Florence has already dumped about 30 inches in areas around Swansboro.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

The hurricane is exposing other chinks in the supply chain, as many retailers big and small are running low on storm-prep essentials, from batteries, generators and plywood to bread and bottled water.

On Thursday morning, a tweet from South Carolina's Emergency Management Division brought this perspective on Florence's sheer size: It's "larger than SC and North Carolina combined". While the storm has weakened from a wind speed standpoint, the wind field has grown by almost 200 miles, according to Mulcahy.

Because landfalling hurricanes commonly spawn twisters, a tornado watch was issued for eastern North Carolina.

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