Gov. McMaster orders evacuation of SC coast ahead of Hurricane Florence

14 September, 2018, 06:00 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • NC rep asks Trump for expedited disaster declaration ahead of Hurricane Florence

Florence, the most powerful storm to menace the USA mainland this year, intensified into a Category 4 hurricane as it howled closer to the Carolinas on Monday, prompting evacuations of more than 1 million people to higher ground.

Residents scrambled to flee en masse as the menacing Category 4 storm packing winds of 220 kilometers per hour bore down on the East Coast of the United States.

"As I tweeted with Harvey last year.it is important to understand the potential one-two punch from Hurricane Florence", University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd said.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now".

The evacuation order becomes mandatory at noon Tuesday, but cameras show traffic already backing up along the main interstate connecting Charleston and Columbia.

National Hurricane Centre director Ken Graham warned that Florence is forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

The entire SC coast is now under a mandatory evacuation order beginning at noon tomorrow.

"The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely unsafe hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", U.S. Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake wrote in a forecast analysis. And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats, and raising the likelihood of life-threatening freshwater flooding.

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Damaging winds could also spread well inland in those states and into Virginia, the hurricane center said. These power outages could last days to weeks, Brock Long, a spokesperson with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told Reuters.

By noon EDT on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

The storm, which intensified dramatically from a Category 1 to a Category 4 hurricane on Monday, could roar ashore with winds of up to 150 miles per hour, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

Wherever Florence hits, it will nearly certainly disrupt flights - not only at airports along the coast but also inland after the storm moves ashore.

"This idea, first of all, of a very strong hurricane making landfall is always going to be very, very bad news", says Kossin, "but then adding the potential for it to stall out once it hits land - that's a very, very frightening prospect to think about". It was centered about 1,230 miles (1,985 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph (20 kph).

The storm, which is poised to affect millions this week in the southeastern USA, is "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Florence was a Category 4 storm late afternoon Monday.

"From eight o'clock 'til two we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors. Here are all 11 years on record that the Atlantic has hosted three or more named storms: 1893, 1926, 1950, 1961, 1967, 1980, 1995, 1998, 2010, 2017, and 2018.

The frequency and intensity of rip currents will increase as Florence strengthens and especially in areas in the direct line of sight of the hurricane, which is along the Carolina, Virginia and Delmarva coasts. SC governor Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.

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