Hurricane Florence Looks Super-Scary When Seen From Space

Mindy Sparks
September 14, 2018

Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds up to 140 miles per hour (220 kph) and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.

South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline to be evacuated starting at noon on Tuesday.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

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.

"From eight o'clock 'til two we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors.

"We are expecting more wind that we had with Hugo and more water than we had with Matthew.", McMaster said.

Early on Monday Isaac, which the NHC called a small hurricane, was about 1,900km east of the Windward Islands - a region still recovering from 2017's powerful Hurricane Maria - with maximum sustained winds near 120km/h. It was centered about 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Isaac to a tropical storm overnight but said Tuesday that it could be "at or near hurricane levels" on Thursday, when it approaches the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Perhaps the worst-case scenario for flight schedules is if Florence stalls after moving on shore while blocking the busy flight routes along the Atlantic coast.

If Florence comes ashore as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, then damaging winds and power outages may extend inland more than 100 miles and northward along the coast by 200 miles or more.

The wind is a secondary concern, given that storms generally weaken quickly once they make landfall, and the main circulation of Florence is expected to stay south of the D.C. area, Pallozzi says. The governors of both states declared states of emergency. "But we're not going to gamble with the lives of the people of SC".

ROY COOPER: The forecast places North Carolina in the bull's eye of Hurricane Florence, and the storm is rapidly getting stronger.

Schools in 26 of the state's 46 counties were to close from Tuesday.

"This latest briefing is part of the president's monitoring of multiple storms that are predicted to affect the the coming days", Sanders said in the statement, adding that the White House is in contact with governor's offices in all the areas affected, including the Carolinas.

The US president said he had spoken with governors of the threatened states, adding that the "federal government stands by, ready to assist 24/7".

Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday night.

Some meteorologists are already predicting that Florence "could be one of the worst storms in USA history".

Evacuations were also ordered along the Virginia coast for about 245,000 people, according to Gov. Ralph Northam.

During a typical Atlantic hurricane season, the bulk of hurricanes are steered by a high-pressure system that sits around Bermuda.

SHAPIRO: Wilmington, N.C., is now in Florence's path.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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