Hurricane Florence Shifts South as Carolinas Hunker Down

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 14, 2018

At this time, Florence was a Category 1 hurricane.

The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Wednesday night, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday, NHC said.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Florence's maximum sustained winds had eased slightly to 115 miles per hour (185 kph) and it had been downgraded to a Category 3 storm from a Category 4 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Myrtle Beach is within an area under a hurricane warning that ran from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, at 2pm local time.

The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters).

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 miles per hour (9 km/h).

Hurricane florence is the most powerful storm to emerge from the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Forecasters say the storm is likely to remain constant in strength, weakening only after the center of the storm moves inland.

The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said. The Wilmington area can now expect 9-to-13-foot storm surges if Florence's peak impact coincides with high tide, Brunswick County coastal areas west of Southport can expect 6-to-9-foot surges.

Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington states have all already declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the three-state region. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for much of the SC and North Carolina coastline.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate. The shopping list for people who have made a decision to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine. The four named storms in the Atlantic come as one in the Pacific is hitting Hawaii.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

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