Carolinas brace for the worst as monstrous Hurricane Florence nears

Mindy Sparks
September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence is blasting toward the Carolinas, carrying sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour and the threat of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall", the National Hurricane Center says.

Air Canada and WestJet Airlines also issued travel advisories and offered to allow passengers to change certain flights free of charge to affected areas in the USA southeast, Barbados and Hawaii.

Porter Airlines warned that flights to Newark, N.J. could be delayed or cancelled because of unfavourable weather.

The latest NOAA model for the storm adds a new layer of concern for people in the Carolinas, where Florence seems likely to hit at this point. Some store shelves were picked clean.

Last year, the United States was hit by three major hurricanes.

The Atlantic Ocean has seen its fair share of strong storms - 2017's Hurricane Irma reached a maximum sustained wind speed of 185 miles per hour, making it the strongest storm outside the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Charles Mullen, 81, a longtime resident of Hatteras Island, North Carolina, said he had ridden out many storms and that most locals were planning to stay unless Florence took aim at Hatteras.

Hurricane-force winds (74 to 95 mph) are now extending out up to 60 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds are being felt as much as 175 miles around the storm.

Mandatory coastal evacuations were in effect for civilians in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, but the military base posted on Facebook that different chains-of-command would decide whether to release non-essential personnel, and some relatives vented fears that they wouldn't be able to evacuate in time.

A state of emergency has been declared in three USA states, as the east coast braces for the arrival of category five storm Florence. The Navy, Air Force and Army were moving ships and aircraft out of harm's way.

But another top hurricane researcher, Chris Landsea, who directs the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of the National Hurricane Center, was less convinced, noting that the study's large projected increases in the strength of future hurricanes "deviates from most of the earlier published work which significant change in major hurricane numbers, and only a 2-5 per cent increase in intensity of hurricanes".

The president was meeting with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency later Tuesday.

What's more, the research found that storms of super extreme intensity, with maximum sustained winds above 305kph, also became more common. It's going to destroy infrastructure. Forecast modeling indicates broad areas may receive 10 to 30 inches of rain, with higher localized totals of 30 to 40 inches over the next week or so. University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said that rain measured in feet is "looking likely".

Half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and numerous hog farms are on the storm's path. Shutdowns also were possible at two more plants in the path of predicted hurricane-force winds.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered an evacuation of residents in Zone A beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, September 11.

Regardless of what happens as Florence roars toward the coast, Cantore said he is confident she is going to be one for the books.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article