Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 2, still considered dangerous

James Marshall
September 15, 2018

Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights. This storm is extremely risky.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports. According to the National Weather Service, the waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction as the storm's motion.

Jeff Byard, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said: "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".

Commenting on the threat, Governor Cooper said: "North Carolina, my message is clear: Disaster is at the doorstep, and it's coming in". Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

"Get out of its way, don't play games with it", said Mr Trump. "It's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen, and tremendous amounts of water".

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. It's called Mother Nature.

Here's what you need to know.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told reporters.

European astronaut Alexander Gerst shared images of Florence's eye wall from space, calling the storm a "no-kidding nightmare".

Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land.

Forecasters say those areas could be battered with hurricane conditions for at least 24 hours. As of Wednesday evening, officials say these surges are now "highly likely" as Florence churns closer. Florence could be the worst hurricane to hit the Carolinas in over 60 years since category 4 hurricane "Hazel" struck in 1954.

Storm surge occurs when the hurricane-force winds blow over the ocean water.

"While Florence has weakened below major hurricane intensity, the wind field of the hurricane continues to grow in size", the NHC said in its latest bulletin.

Mr Graham said the Pamlico and Neuse rivers in North Carolina will see their flows "reversed" as storm surges push water back inland.

The Michigan-sized storm is set to linger for days and cause catastrophic flooding with up to four feet of rain and 13-foot storm surges.

Is global warming to blame?

The relationship between climate change and hurricanes is a complex one.

But there are so many factors that contribute to these rare events, it has been hard to tease out clear trends from the data.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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