'Don't play games with it': Florence takes aim at Carolinas

Gwen Vasquez
September 16, 2018

As of 2 p.m. EDT today (Sept. 12), Florence was a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) at its location about 435 miles (700 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Enough rain could fall to break North Carolina's record for a tropical storm - 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Service's national prediction center.

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday.

"We're still looking at the potential for heavy rainfall that could produce flooding", she said.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections says some prisoners were moved in a Pee Dee facility ahead of Florence's approach toward the coast.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper predicted that tens of thousands of homes and businesses would be flooded in his state.

By Sunday, clouds from Florence will increase around here, with rain arriving by Sunday night into Monday. Some of these reactors - including Duke Energy's Brunswick and Harris nuclear plants in North Carolina and Dominion Energy's Surry plant in Virginia - may be directly in the hurricane's path, Reuters reported.

Timing: When Will Hurricane Florence Strike?

Florence will bring large rainfall totals through Saturday in North Carolina, north SC and Virginia, causing catastrophic flash flooding.

More news: Apple to stop including free dongle adapters with iPhones

For a swath of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said.

President Donald Trump is urging those in the path of Hurricane Florence to act now to "get out of its way". Gradual weakening is forecast over the next couple of days, and Helene is expected to become a tropical storm on Thursday.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for all coastal SC counties on Monday.

On Wednesday morning, Florence was extending hurricane-force winds outward up to 70 miles from its center, with tropical-storm-force winds up to 175 miles outward. "We just need to keep getting the most accurate and recent data we can for the models and forecasters".

The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people.

To back up that point, Graham cited a sobering statistic: "50 percent of the fatalities in these tropical systems is the storm surge - and that's not just along the coast".

"Bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size", Trump said Wednesday morning.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER