Carolinas Hunker Down As Florence Approaches

Audrey Hill
September 16, 2018

The wide storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday and forecasters expect it to weaken further as it nears the shore.

The storm is predicted to bring several feet of rain and unsafe storm surge to coastal areas. Gen. Robert Livingston, adjutant general for SC, said in a statement.

The Coast Guard set Charleston's port condition at X-ray this morning, meaning sustained winds between 39 and 54 miles per hour are expected to arrive within 48 hours.

If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

"Florence was anticipated to make a steady, assured progress directly towards the Carolinas, make landfall, and move directly inland".

Outer bands from the hurricane are now lashing land, at least a full day before the National Hurricane Center expects the slow-moving storm's eye to blow ashore around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, as it threatens the U.S. East Coast. While inland areas may be spared the strongest winds, they could be vulnerable to flooding, especially if close to overflowing rivers.

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In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse. He says: "If Mama and Grandma are going, then a lot of people are leaving". Spokesman Kenn Sparks said BMW is monitoring parts supply plants, which could be affected by the storm. "Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said. An estimated 772,000 people remained without power in North Carolina, along with 172,000 in SC. The agency is in constant contact with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding in Virginia and the Carolinas.

On the mainland in New Bern, the authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods, and that the downtown area was under water. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting through Friday.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections' Palmer Pre Release Center a Level 1 Minimum Custody Prison in Florence, South Carolina, was evacuated in advance of Hurricane Florence due to security reasons.

A long stretch of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard remained vulnerable to hurricane and tropical storm conditions, from Georgia north through the Carolinas into Virginia.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

Hurricane Florence is now a Category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, with tropical storm-force winds up to 150 miles out from the center.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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