Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 14, 2018

Hurricane-force winds extend up to 80 miles from the centre, and tropical storm effects reach 195 miles, The Independent less than 100 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, the "meandering" Florence has been described as a "horrific nightmare storm" because meteorologists can not pinpoint where it will strike. Tens of thousands were without power. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.

"All residents are urged to prepare a ready kit with necessary supplies and closely follow information from local officials and news sources", said Catherine Howden from GEMA.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

But the danger comes not so much from the wind as from the storm surges, which could raise the sea level to 4 meters in some points and flood the coast.

The National Hurricane Center said late Thursday that Florence had already brought a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds to the North Carolina coast.

"I said, 'Why get on the road like this?"

As of 8 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph (7 kph).

Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Florence is predicted to make an overnight landfall Friday west of Wilmington, NC.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. Overall, the storm is 400 miles wide.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated. "And since we're already on high ground, those two things together kind of help insulate us a little more than, I would say, others".

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who made a decision to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information.

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