Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears

Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears

Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday (Sept. 13 or 14), likely as a Category 3 hurricane, meaning it will have winds blowing at a minimum of 111 miles per hour (178 km/h), Samson said.

Outer bands from the hurricane were lashing land on Thursday, at least a full day before the National Hurricane Center expects the slow-moving storm's eye to blow ashore around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence on September 12, 2018.

The surge from Florence will be particularly unsafe due to the flat nature of the coastline off North Carolina and SC, allowing the storm to pile a lot of water over a large area. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said.

Communities along the Carolina coast buttoned up against the onslaught of Hurricane Florence as forecasters Wednesday warned that the monstrous storm could hesitate just offshore for days - punishing a longer stretch of coastline harder than previously feared - before pushing inland over the weekend. Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

As of 8:00 am (1200 GMT), it was packing sustained winds of 130 miles (210 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. It had been projected to shift north after making landfall.

Florence lumbers inland, leaving five dead, communities flooded
If Florence doesn't wipe out oceanfront homes on stilts along the Carolinas coast, rising sea levels will. Don't drive across standing or moving water", the governor said, urging people to heed evacuation orders.

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In a recent ranking, Millerick's institute found South Carolina's rules to be among the most up to date among hurricane-prone states. Many major roads and arteries have reversed traffic flow to help residents evacuate quickly.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Isaac will strike the islands of the Lesser Antilles, with Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique under a tropical storm warning.

That's because in addition to the extensive flooding, the hurricane is expected to knock out power along the coast, according to an analysis done by a team headed by Seth Guikema, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of MI.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling Florence a major and deadly storm. "Disastrous flooding is expected in some areas, not simply near the coastal Carolinas where the heaviest rain totals are forecast, but also in the Appalachians, where heavy rain over mountainous terrain is likely to trigger mud and rockslides", meteorologists said.

"The big picture: There are several characteristics of the changing climate that are helping to increase the risks of damage from Hurricane Florence, even though global warming is not directly causing such a storm to spin up".

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