Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By

Hurricane Florence: Four reasons to fear this storm

Hurricane Florence: Four reasons to fear this storm

A siege of hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surge is hammering the Carolina coast as Florence is expected to soon make landfall in North Carolina, causing a life-threatening storm surge.

One million people were ordered to evacuate in recent days. The Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and is moving slowly, at 6 miles per hour.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Unit from Huntington are heading towards North Carolina to help with rescue efforts following Hurricane Florence.

Forecasters expect Florence to hit the Carolinas early in the morning on September 14. We will have tropical storm force winds and rain and storm surge continues to be our main concern with extreme flooding. Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

An officer inspecting the Triangle Motor Inn found a "basketball-sized hole" in a corner room and firefighters said the building had suffered life-threatening structural damage. Coastal water has risen 5-feet above sea level near Wilmington and 8-feet above sea level near New Bern according to recorders in tide buoys, which you can track here. "Trees are blowing down in the wind". Firefighters and police fought wind and rain going door-to-door to pull people out after the cinderblock structure began to crumble and the roof began to collapse. They formed a convoy to an emergency operations centre, according to the Jacksonville Daily News.

One forecaster says the harm done by a 90 miles per hour wind would be comparable to that suffered from a 110 miles per hour wind.

Sixteen kilometres away in the city of Wilmington, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned people: "Today the threat becomes a reality".


Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the worst of the weather with his dog Canelo.

The storm is already causing power outages, with Duke Energy reporting almost 240,000 customers have lost power in North and SC - but projects 1 to 3 million people could lose power.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

With the brunt of the storm yet to come, a gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, a city near the coast, was already recording 10 feet (3 meters) of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Although the storm was downgraded to Category 1 before landfall, it still brought a unsafe risk of strong winds and hazardous flooding.

There are fears that this storm could cause damage similar to what Houston suffered during Hurricane Harvey past year, when homes and businesses were inundated with floodwater.

Sandie Orsa is waiting out Hurricane Florence in a hotel in Wilmington. Others were at home hoping for the best.

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