Published: Fri, September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence has weakened but will still be devastating

Hurricane Florence has weakened but will still be devastating

This same zone will be hammered by winds gusting up to hurricane force for almost a day while tropical-storm conditions could linger twice that long.

Soren Rundquist, Environmental Working Group's director of spatial analysis, said if the rainfall projections hold up, the flood waters will simply take what was sprayed on the fields with them, along with what spills out of the pits. Storm surge of 13 feet on top of a high tide at 7 feet could overwhelm Carolina Beach.

The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

The U.S. Naval Forces North Command also has deployed ships off the S.C. coast once the storm passes for recovery and rescue efforts, should support be needed, said Lt. Cmdr.

As we head into the end of the week, Hurricane Florence is fast approaching the climax of her journey across the Atlantic to wreak devastation on the US East Coast - giving us some breathtaking - and slightly terrifying - footage as she comes.

"Think of it like a marathon", said Mark Robinson, from The Weather Network, also in Wilmington with Kourounis.

The path of Hurricane Florence has changed since Cooper made that statement Tuesday. The biggest problem will likely be mass power outages, he says. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

The storm's center was about 170 miles southeast of Wilmington at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a National Hurricane Center briefing.


"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence. "We've just never seen anything like this".

Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable. "It will probably fall faster than it can leave".

Even though the storm's category fell from a 4 to a 2 Wednesday (local time), forecasters stressed the category is only an evaluation of the storm's peak winds in a very narrow core near the center of the storm.

Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely risky storm for rain and storm surge.

FEMA and the National Weather Service also urged residents along the coast to evacuate.

But the Miami-based NHC stressed it remained "a life-threatening situation" due to the risks of storm surge around coastal areas.

Forecasters said some of Florence's outer bands could bring heavy rain and perhaps isolated flooding to Maryland, and they warned that significant coastal flooding was possible along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay as winds push waters on shore. The surge won't be as bad as it potentially could have been, however, and the winds won't be as strong. As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it.

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations. The storm's 12-mph speed Thursday morning was a marked drop from Wednesday's 17-mph speeds.

"We are extremely concerned with the streams and rivers at full capacity", Ringgold said.

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