Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By

Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

Hurricane Florence, the vast storm meteorologists and astronauts alike have been tracking, made landfall this morning (Sept. 14) near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence is forecast to make landfall tomorrow.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.

Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.

Hurricane Florence is expected to pack a potentially life-threatening punch as it continues its path toward the United States east coast. And it's travelling farther and creating deeper floods thanks to sea-level rise from climate change, which research indicates has added as much as 6 inches to Florence's surge.

"We know we're in for a long haul here", he said of the forecast for the coming days.

Officials say 321,000 people are without power in North Carolina as Florence pounds the area. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

Downed trees, branches on the hurricane-lashed streets of Wilmington, North Carolina.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. "This is extremely risky", she adds.

Florence is a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometres from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometres.

Will Epperson, a 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 then reconsidered.

The fresh water flooding will also be a major issue as the storm moves inland.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles. If you're called to go, you need to go".

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