Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By

Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head

Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head

Hurricane Florence is at the doorstep of North and SC, and she's not going away anytime soon.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated.

"Just because the wind speed came down, the intensity of this storm came down to a Cat 2, please do not let your guard down", said Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

But what makes Florence so different from other storms this year? Storm surge of 13 feet on top of a high tide at 7 feet could overwhelm the town.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, the center of Florence was 100 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 155 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The rest of South and North Carolina, including cities from Charlotte to Raleigh, can expect 6 to 12 inches of rain - and up to 2 feet in isolated areas, the NHC warned.

Map shows the projected path of Hurricane Florence as of 11am, September 13, 2018.

Energy companies have also warned that the storm could knock out power for the foreseeable future in some areas. Further inland, rain totals could reach 30 centimeters in the Carolinas, and up to 24 centimeters in the rest of the Carolinas and in southwestern Virginia.

The storm surge could rise up to 13 feet - that's water inundating homes up to the first-floor ceiling, the National Hurricane Center said.

The Hurricane Florence has began to unleash fierce rains across the USA southeast.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", Smith said.

"The limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", FlightAware said in its noon report.

"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says. And Florence's large wind field will add to the perils as the storm grinds over beaches and inland.

The path of Hurricane Florence sees it going over some of the poorest areas on the eastern seaboard. "Especially for people that we've already told to evacuate".

The worst may come as the gargantuan storm swirls past the shore and dumps days of rain on mountainous interiors, potentially creating disastrous mudslides.

"When that last ferry pulls's unnerving to see it pull away and know, 'That's the last chance I have of getting off this island, '" she said Wednesday.

"Flooding and the storm surge - those are the two main things that kill people, and this storm is not letting up", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday.

One climate model is predicting that as much as 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina in the coming week - an amount that's enough to fill the Empire State Building 40 times over.

President Donald Trump has insisted that the government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for the arrival of the hurricane.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said.

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