Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By

Hurricane Florence: Over 188,000 without power as monster storm batters Carolinas

Hurricane Florence: Over 188,000 without power as monster storm batters Carolinas

It's moving toward the coast at a speed of 12mph.

Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 165 kph after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 90 miles per hour by nightfall. It is expected to stall and hover over the Carolinas, dumping enormous amounts of rainfall on the region, and causing massive destruction and flooding.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances", the advisory said.

Still, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says there is nothing "minor" about this hurricane.

Alexander Gerst/ESA/NASA via AP This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.

The US National Hurricane Center described how winds of up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour were pummeling the state of North Carolina. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind does.

On Thursday evening, the Neuse River burst its banks which caused rapid flooding in New Bern, North Carolina, forcing residents to flee as the entire city lost power. "Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall expected".

Will Epperson, 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but changed their minds due to its ferocity.

Steering currents - around clear-weather high-pressure systems and stormy low-pressure systems - redirect hurricanes, with the clear-weather systems acting as walls that storms have to go around. Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometres from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometres.

Storm swell is predicted to reach almost 4 metres in height near the coastal cities of Wilmington and Jacksonville, absolutely devastating structures in the region.


The utility also said Thursday it is shutting down a coastal North Carolina nuclear power plant ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached Wilmington, with weather officials saying the storm will bring unprecedented rain to the region.

"I would not read too much into the categories", said Howard Silverman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

The forecast calls for as much as 40 inches (102 centimeters) of rain over seven days along the coast, with the deluge continuing even as the center of the storm pushes its way over the Appalachian Mountains.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 144 km/h by nightfall. Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence.

"We have a mental health person, we have social workers, we have in some cases, we have law enforcement in the building", said volunteer John Edwards, who was volunteering at the American Red Cross shelter in Greensboro Thursday. "It will probably fall faster than it can leave". More flights were expected to be grounded and more airports were preparing to shut down operations as the storm moves inland.

"Growing confidence that Southeast SC will experience a [prolonged] period of tropical storm winds and heavy rain Friday - Saturday from #Florence".

"This is an extremely unsafe and life-threatening situation". Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances. As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it.

Roughly 1 million people are under evacuation orders.

Like this: