Hurricane Florence: Why has North Carolina declared STATE OF EMERGENCY?

Mindy Sparks
September 11, 2018

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence", the hurricane center has been saying for days.

Tropical Storm Florence was expected to strengthen back into a hurricane on Sunday, and forecasters warned that the storm could still make landfall somewhere along the USA eastern seaboard late next week. Rapid intensification is expected through Monday, with Florence approached Category 4 status.

"The bottom line is that there is increasing confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", the NHC forecast warned. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday".

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest USA storm, according to Hurricane Center records.

Historically, 90 percent of fatalities from hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have been caused by water, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. It would also mean a "massive rain event" from as far north as Virginia all the way down to SC.

The hurricane center's description of a Category 4 hurricane begins with "catastrophic damage will occur". "But on rare occasions, the steering patterns can line up such that a storm slips into a dead zone between troughs and ridges". The Navy planned to send ships from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia out to sea.

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky weather across a wide area.

Florence has been moving more toward the west and slightly northwest, potentially making direct landfall coming in from the east.

The governors of North and SC and Virginia declared states of emergency far ahead of the storm to get ready.

North Carolina officials started getting bulldozers and chain saws ready.

A mandatory evacuation was ordered for residents of Hatteras Island and some other areas of Dare County in North Carolina.

Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane.

Swells generated by Florence were affecting Bermuda and starting to reach parts of the U.S. East Coast.

This map shows the projected path of Hurricane Florence on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

Hurricane Isaac - which late Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season - is heading west towards the Caribbean.

Adm. Christopher Grady said the decision was based on Florence's current track, which indicates the area could see strong sustained winds and storm surges.

Hurricane Hunter Aircraft have been flying through Florence all morning long, and as of 8 a.m. have found the storm to have weakened slightly.

Maria - which killed at least 3,057 people, most in Puerto Rico - is believed to be the third-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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