The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas
The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas
Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This
18 September, 2018, 07:31
While wind speeds dropped Thursday, forecasters reminded people that what makes Florence extremely unsafe are the potentially deadly storm surges, the expected mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall.
"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", Epperson said.
The National Hurricane Centre warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state.
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.
Hurricane Matthew, which came ashore in SC last October, plunged about 2 million homes and businesses into darkness. Airlines cancelled almost 1000 flights and counting.
Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.
Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 110 miles per hour (175 kph) after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC. "Once the storm moves further inland to Atlanta and Charlotte, the biggest issue will be rain and thunderstorms", she said. But that part of the East Coast rarely sees major hurricanes. As of Saturday, about 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.
In total, over 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches and another 4.9 million people are under tropical storm warnings or watches. Storm winds could range from 80 to 195 miles per hour, officials said.
A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
Elder relatives carry as much weight as meteorologists in a tight-knit community of slave descendants on the SC coast. Thousands have heeded evacuation orders; others are hoping to cope with the storm in their homes or at local shelters. "Life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected".
Residents along the Carolina Coast on Thursday were preparing for Hurricane Florence as the massive Category 2 storm continues on its path northwest at 18 miles per hour. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".
The surge will result in "large areas of deep inundation. enhanced by battering waves", the Weather Service said. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.
Winds will continue to pick up through Thursday afternoon and evening. It could also make several points of landfall.
Isaac will move past the eastern Caribbean islands by late Thursday. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands face possible isolated amounts of 3 inches.
It has become likely that the storm will reverse course early next week and turn back north toward West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, albeit significantly weakened.
Kinston has a 30 percent poverty rate, according to 2015 U.S. Census data - almost double that of North Carolina as a whole.
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Five people, including an infant, were killed as Florence battered the North Carolina coast on Friday. As of 6 a.m., Florence was centered just 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
His comments run counter to how many locals and experts have assessed the federal government's response. And FEMA Administrator Brock Long has said FEMA made changes to some of its priorities and procedures.
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