Hurricane Florence: Your guide to the story

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

He added: 'The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen. But the effect on major air travel hubs in the Southeast is expected to be less than feared.

Air Force General Terrence J O'Shaughnessy, head of US Command, said search and rescue is a top priority but that the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of rescuers.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. "Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances", the advisory said. Florence could bring life-threatening storm surges, up to 13 feet.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the briefing said. Numerous flight cancellations and delays Thursday involved arrivals or departures at airports in Florence's path.

Solange Iliou Thompson, a restaurant owner in the town of Wilmington, North Carolina, made her stance clear.

Florence is now a Category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale and is forecast to slam into the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday.

And don't be fooled by the fact that Florence has weakened slightly to a strong Category 2 hurricane. Categories only represent the speed of sustained winds, and these are still destructive.

Storm surge is higher when the water just off the beach is shallower, Needham said.

Meteorologists are also keeping an eye on yet another tropical disturbance that's spinning in the western Gulf of Mexico. "A turn toward the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected by tonight and continuing into Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday", the bulletin said.

Those surges alone are projected to cause inland flooding of more than 9 feet in cities like New Bern, North Carolina, even without the expected 15 to 20 inches of rain.

No area in the U.S. would be able to easily deal with Hurricane Florence, but the communities in its path this time are more vulnerable than in the past.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

The storm clouds stretch along a thousand miles of USA coastline with the center mass of the storm about twice the size of Pennsylvania. McMullen says, "You'll get 24-36 hours period of excess rainfall, category 1 or 2 force winds, and then you'll get constant storm surge with water being piled onto the land from the Atlantic Ocean". "That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning.

The surge in power outages along the coast is the result of gusts coming off Hurricane Florence and knocking trees into power lines, said Lisa Crawley, a spokeswoman for the co-ops.

Forecasters are calling Hurricane Florence a "generational storm". Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, the utility warned.

The Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power programme, known as STEP, which was created in 2015 and tested in four jurisdictions past year, has over 100,000 orders for home repairs, more than half of which are not yet done, said Omar Marrero. "We're about to be in the thick of it". As of 8 a.m., the hurricane is predicted to make landfall along the coast of the Carolinas tomorrow (Sept. 14), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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