Hurricane Florence's winds and rain begin lashing Carolinas

Gwen Vasquez
September 13, 2018

Storm surges up to 3.9 meters (13 feet), the possibility of tornados and nearly a meter of rain in some areas of North and SC were expected when Hurricane Florence makes landfall late Thursday. It urged residents to heed evacuation orders.

To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients - and Florence has them all.

The National Weather Service said about 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches. Still, analysts for S&P Global Platts say it's possible the Colonial and Plantation pipelines could be affected by power outages or damage to pump stations.

Duke Energy Corp. expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.

From Thursday night through Sunday morning, CNN reported that Florence would travel only 150 miles, or slower than the average walking pace of 2-3 mph. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across eastern SC on Friday night and Saturday.

"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.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

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Locals in the Carolina states have said they have little trust in the authorities and fear they would not get much support from central government should the area be devastated by the hurricane, given the response to the devastation caused by Maria to Puerto Rico a year ago. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., and nearby areas, the surge could hit 6-9 feet. The effects of torrential rain are devastating, costly, and deadly, especially in urban areas where concrete comprises the basis of most structures and makes it incredibly hard for water to drain.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the South Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks. Noting the heavy bands on the hurricane's northeast quadrant, he added, "We are on the bad side of this storm". "The flood waters will have no easy exit". A slow motion over eastern SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night. But rail cars with vehicles bound for Charleston and export markets overseas have been moved to secure areas until the storm passes. Cramer said the police chief informed him that as of this morning, the only people in sight were "two or three stragglers". While most golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area were open within two weeks of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Florence could be different because it's forecast to deliver a 13-foot (4-meter) ocean surge and flooding rains.

"This time it's important". "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington.

At the nearby Arthur Christian Church, Booker reports, about twenty people were praying together as the storm barreled toward the Carolinas. Then they can assess the damage and begin the restoration process.

A crawling pace can be even more punishing than a fast one, because it lets the storm stall in one area as it dumps more and more heavy rain.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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