'Big and Vicious': Hurricane Florence Closes in on Carolinas

Mindy Sparks
September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying and could strike a direct and unsafe blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week, possibly as a fearsome category 4, forecasters said. Forecasts predict as much as 20 inches of rain in some places but one computer model warned there could be up to 45 inches, almost four feet. At this point, county and city agencies are operating at OPCON 3 as operations were ramped up a bit on Sunday morning.

The farther south the center of Florence is able to move, the windier it will be here in central Georgia. The storm is expected to make landfall by Friday, according to the NHC, likely somewhere in the Carolinas.

"Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland", the NHC warned. Hurricane Floyd was a Category 4 storm before it hit Florida, traveled up the coast and struck Cape Fear as a strong Category 2 storm. Tropical storms are defined as those of at least 39 miles per hour.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman, Col. Robert Manning said, "Northern Command is spending an advanced team to the emergency operations center in Raleigh, North Carolina Monday to conduct an assessment and coordinate with federal and state partners". It was moving to the west at 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

Tropical storm winds are forecast to hit the region sometime Thursday morning, with landfall occurring late Thursday night.

It exploded into a Category 4 storm yesterday, carrying winds up to 220km/h and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States this week. The report also said that some facilities for inmates in Virginia are also planning evacuations, according to the state's Departments of Corrections.

SC coastal areas can expect tropical storm force winds by Thursday morning on the storm's latest track, according to John Quagliariello from the National Weather Service in Columbia.

Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

A rip current forms when high wind and breaking waves push water from the sea to the land.

Shifts in the hurricane's path are still possible, The Washington Post noted.

Residents of North Carolina's low-lying barrier islands say they have already felt the impacts of Hurricane Florence.

Governors in SC and Virginia have also issued mandatory evacuation orders ahead of the storm.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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