Florence roars back to hurricane status

Gwen Vasquez
September 12, 2018

Hurricane warning: South Santee River South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.

The governor warned residents that Florence was gaining strength and that the winds would likely be higher than other recent hurricanes.

As of Tuesday morning, Florence was hurling 130-mph winds. That would be Florence's storm surge, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

After the storm surge comes the deluge of rain.

The Category 4 storm is the most powerful hurricane to threaten the Carolinas in 3 decades. For those not in the storm's direct path, officials are still warning about the residual high winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper told locals not to "bet your life on riding out a monster", with ferocious winds set to batter the shoreline. The National Hurricane Center says it's now expected to hit Wilmington and then veer west, taking it south of Charlotte. "So this is not just going to be a coastal threat".

More news: Florence intensifies; landfall across North Carolina becomes more likely

Florence is expected to dump 15 to 25 inches of rain, with isolated areas reaching 35 inches, across the Carolinas and into other mid-Atlantic states "late this week into early next week", the NHC said. So the land can't absorb much more water.

As of the National Hurricane Centre's 8am update (1pm BST), Florence was placed about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, Northern Carolina. And there will be flooding in the inland areas as well. But that part of the East Coast rarely sees any major hurricanes.

Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday.

And in the 29 years since Hurricane Hugo struck, the population of the coastal Carolinas has skyrocketed. "If you have to make large scale evacuations, make the call early".

"Hurricane Florence is rapidly approaching the coastline and we wanted to preemptively offer disaster relief for those who stand to be impacted by the storm", Mack said in a statement to HuffPost.

Holden Beach, North Carolina, was in the storm's path, according to forecasts on Monday. But one thing it might actually help is to reduce the overall wind speed, though we're still going to have gusty winds around here which combined with that wet soil could bring down some trees.

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