Monday, 12 November, 2018

White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast on Sept. 12 Modal Trigger Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast on Sept. 12. Getty Images
Elijah Vega | 15 September, 2018, 22:27

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

Massive waves of up to 83 feet were measured inside the storm on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch said, citing satellite altimeter data.

The hurricane center, in its 5 a.m. Thursday update, said Florence was 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, N.C., moving northwest at 15 mph.

A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington amid concern over potential torrential rain and flooding.

Since Tuesday, forecasts have shifted the storm track towards the south and southwest after it reaches the coast, which could increase the storm's severity in coastal SC through Myrtle Beach and Charleston and even into parts of Georgia.

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.

For many of those under evacuation orders, getting out of harm's way has proved difficult, as airlines cancelled flights and motorists had a hard time finding gas.

"These storms can be very disruptive to regional economies, and it takes time for them to recover", said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics.

For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters.

Florence, a wet and unwanted visitor, besieges Carolinas
Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to dump risky amounts of rain as it continues its slow slog across the Carolinas. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

The shift in the projected track had areas that once thought they were out of range anxious.

There has been a dramatic change in the projected path of the first hurricane of the season expected to make landfall on the United States.

Florence is unusual in that it is aiming at the Carolinas from the east.

"While it remains possible the system becomes a tropical storm, we see no reason right now to believe it becomes more than that, and we're not convinced it develops at all", said Space City Weather's Eric Berger in the blog.

It will also pass directly over two nuclear power plants - the Brunswick Nuclear Plant, which is located 30 miles south of Wilmington, as well as the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in New Hill, about 23 miles from Raleigh.

And while take-offs aboard the Gulfstream 4 aircraft are smooth, once they enter a hurricane it's intense, and the flights last for eight hours.

CNN reports dire word from FEMA associate administrator Jeff Byard, who warns that this storm is not to be reckoned with.

The president made his comments in a videotaped message from the White House Rose Garden that he tweeted out on Wednesday morning. "It's called Mother Nature".

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