U.S. residents flee as Hurricane Florence threatens ‘exceptionally bad news’

17 September, 2018, 04:45 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • National Hurricane Center

Long lines formed at service stations, and some started running out of gas as far west as Raleigh, with bright yellow bags, signs or rags placed over the pumps to show they were out of order.

"There's no water. There's no juices". She said it will become a "major flooding event".

Editor's note: How are you preparing for Hurricane Florence?

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.

As Florence nears the east coast, meteorologists are focused on two key factors: ocean temperatures and wind sheer (the difference in speeds at the upper and lower parts of the storm).

In the 11 p.m. ET advisory, Florence was 280 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 17 mph.

While the hurricane is projected to hit land early September 15, the effects are already starting to be felt from the massive storm. In the Piedmont Triad area, we are expecting somewhere between 5-10 inches of rain.

Federal officials begged residents to put together emergency kits and have a plan on where to go.

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"Yes, the winds will be bad, but really the water is what will be deadly", said Rob Galbraith, director of underwriting research for insurance firm USAA. It's going to destroy infrastructure.

"We are already experiencing heavily impacted traffic on some of the evacuation routes", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

He said Wednesday it was imperative that locals heed evacuation warnings and that the time to flee Florence is now.

John Kinney, chief claims officer at Hartford, said three-quarters of the small businesses hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 had to close their doors for at least a day, with the average duration being about seven days.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while neighboring North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County.

They showed us instruments that function nearly like weather balloons, that are dropped into the storm to gather data that satellites can't. It would be a huge mistake to consider Florence less of a threat on such a track. The coast of the Carolinas will begin to feel Florence's wrath Wednesday night or Thursday morning with gusty winds and increasing surf. "It's a big one", he said.

In Columbia, South Carolina, Barry Sparks, a 66-year-old retiree, was thinking of getting out after the path of the storm shifted somewhat to the south.

And if that isn't enough, Subtropical Storm Joyce formed in the North Atlantic Tuesday afternoon, but it's not expected to hit the U.S. The system is expected to drift to the southwest in the coming days. "And if that's the case, it would continue to be over warm water and it would (retain) its hurricane status a little while longer before weakening into a tropical storm".

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