Satellites Track, Illustrate Incoming Hurricane Florence

Lynette Rowe
September 14, 2018

The National Hurricane Center 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.

The hurricane centre's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon (Saturday NZT) around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

Terrifying as the situation is (I am regularly checking on my folks, who abandoned Charleston for the highlands of North Carolina), there is a silver lining.

"Heed the warnings", said Byard, adding there was "well over $20 billion" in FEMA's disaster relief fund.

"You put your life at risk by staying", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday. Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

Almost 2 million coastal residents are now under mandatory evacuation orders, although it remains unclear how many have actually done so.

Duke Energy estimated earlier this week that up to 3 million of its 4 million customers in North Carolina could lose power.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (one meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina Thursday night or Friday. It is now heading towards the US East Coast that it is predicted to hit on Friday.

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Thursday.

A storm surge watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC, and for north of Duck, NC, to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

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You can also review the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's checklist for preparation. "Life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected". "It's going to happen. We just want prayers from everyone".

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps.

Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bussed inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.

Having so many systems moving across the Atlantic at once also complicates forecasting because they influence one another, Blake said. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together".

HO/AFP/Getty Images In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station.

A smaller hurricane dubbed Isaac is reportedly heading for the Caribbean, while Hurricane Helene - now also in the Atlantic - is forecast to track towards the UK. Eventually, Florence will veer north into the Appalachian Mountains, bringing soaking rains to Virginia and western North Carolina, before sputtering out late next week near DE and Maryland, the FWS reported.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. "That means warmer air and warmer water can lead to larger, more intense hurricanes, which in turn lead to more rainfall".

Winds were already picking up along the coastline on Thursday morning and some minor flooding was reported on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in some coastal towns.

"The anxiety level has dropped substantially", Epperson said.

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