Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By

Stare Down from Space into the Churning Maw of Hurricane Florence

Stare Down from Space into the Churning Maw of Hurricane Florence

"We will have catastrophic effects".

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.

Photos of the beaches in North and SC show how serious it's going to be. 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.

Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

The storm's centre was about 180km east of Wilmington, North Carolina, at 2pm local time (18:00 GMT) but tropical storm-strength winds and heavy rains already were hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands.

The Weather Channel's forecast video shows the potential damage such surges could inflict on the southern states.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm approached, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

At least 88,000 people were without power in North Carolina with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to the state's emergency management agency.

Her neighbors gave her the key to their house, which is two stories and might be safer from flooding, she said.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (4m) have been forecast in some areas when the monster storm eventually makes landfall in North and SC.


There are about 150 people waiting to be rescued.

Florence's expected slowdown means a prolonged period near the coast, said the hurricane center's Joel Cline.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the centre of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.

According to the NHC's forecast discussion at 12 p.m. on September 13: "The subtropical ridge to the northeast and east of Florence is now well-established between Bermuda and the USA mid-Atlantic region and extends westward into Virginia and the central Appalachians".

The Pentagon has dispatched two ships and a Marine unit offshore to provide help if needed.

Several residents fled the coast under both mandatory and voluntary evacuations.

"This large-scale feature is expected to keep the hurricane moving northwestward today, followed by a turn toward the west at a much slower speed on Friday as the ridge to the north of Florence weakens due to a weak shortwave trough dropping slowly southward from the Ohio Valley". "If you're told to go, you need to go".

In the Carolinas, forecasters said that given the storm's size and a likely sluggish track, the hurricane could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial and farm waste sites.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who chose to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information. All four states declared a state of emergency.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now". "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".

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