Hurricane Florence: Giant, slow-moving storm causes deluge as it makes landfall

Brunilde Fioravanti
Settembre 15, 2018

As of 5:00 am (0900 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of unsafe storm surges and "catastrophic flash flooding".

The National Hurricane Center says top sustained winds have dropped to near 50 miles per hour (80 kph) with higher gusts, and Florence is expected to become a tropical depression later Saturday.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most risky place to be as Florence moved ashore. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 10 centimetres of water, he calculated.

Onslow County, located about 50 miles to the northeast of Wilmington, has been hit particularly hard. Parts of the Carolina coastline have received nearly 24 inches of rain already. The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. He said the gust was the strongest recorded in Wilmington since 1958. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz REFILE - CORRECTING GRAMMAR AND TYPO IN CITY NAME People wait to be rescued by members of the U.S. Army during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted Florence would drop up to eight months' worth of rain in two or three days.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week. But its progress had slowed to a crawl of 2 miles per hour. It was downgraded to Category 1 before coming ashore on Friday near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical storm-force winds reached out to 315km.

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified 41 Superfund sites in threatened parts of the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland and Georgia, including polluted industrial sites, chemical plants, coastal shipyards and military bases.

Through Sunday morning, over a foot of rain is expected to fall in and around Wilmington, adding to the 6 or so inches of rain the city has already received from Florence. In addition, the flooding will intensify as the rain drains into the rivers. North Carolinians can compare those measurements with this flood risk map to gauge how their areas might be affected.

This will then produce more catastrophic flash flooding and major river flooding. The figure for SC was 170,000. Flash flooding has spread into Raleigh and will expand over Charlotte as well, where flash flood advisories are in effect.

The rest of SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia is expected to report 5 to 10 inches of additional rainfall, with isolated cases of 15 inches.

At least four people have died, and authorities fear the toll will go higher as the tropical storm crawls westward Saturday across SC.

But it still brought torrential rain.

5-day rainfall forecast from National Weather Service.

Florence will ultimately lose its tropical designation sometime Saturday, but the storm will continue be a danger as it starts to turn north by Sunday afternoon.

The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.

In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 people on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions and even a decommissioned World War Two-era battleship, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

Claire Tran, a 21-year-old journalist in Washington, DC, told Insider she's seen more than 10 Tinder profiles with bios referring to the Category 1 storm.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE