Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Science | By

Indiana Task Force 1 deployed to Mid-Atlantic ahead of hurricane

Indiana Task Force 1 deployed to Mid-Atlantic ahead of hurricane

Hurricane Florence moved closer to the U.S. East Coast on September 10, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 11 p.m. update.

Hurricane Florence intensified rapidly to a category 4 storm Monday with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour., tracking toward the North Carolina coast with an expected landfall as early as Thursday.

States of emergency were declared by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser for the nation's capital; requested by Virginia's governor; and approved by US President Donald Trump for North and SC.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm is gathering power as it moves towards land, and "is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane" by Thursday.

A mandatory evacuation order takes effect Tuesday at noon in eight counties along South Carolina's 187-mile coastline.

As has been previously announced, the USC campus is closed beginning Tuesday and until further notice per South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster's order.

On Sunday, the hurricane center reported that Florence had reached sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour to be classified a hurricane.

Hurricane Florence was upgraded from a Category 2 to Category 4 hurricane on Monday as warm ocean waters and a lack of wind shear combined to fuel the powerful storm, which brings unsafe winds, torrential downpours and threatening floods along with it.

Navy ships off Virginia's coast were preparing to sail out of the path, a North Carolina university has already canceled classes and people have begun stocking up on plywood, bottled water and other supplies.

"To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad!" He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up. The National Weather Service reported Sunday that more than 20 people had to be pulled from the ocean off Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, The Wilmington Star reported. As the forecast becomes clearer, Florence poses three challenges: coastal storm surge, strong winds and inland flooding that inundates rivers and low-lying ground.

That means sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour and expectations of catastrophic damage, the hurricane center says.

Two other storms are spinning in the Atlantic. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

Monday marks the average peak of the hurricane season in the Atlantic. "The threat will be inland, so I'm afraid, based on my experience at FEMA, that the public probably not as prepared as everybody would like", said Craig Fugate, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune urged people to secure their homes but said it was too early to know if evacuations will be ordered.

"Right now we are just coordinating our internal resources, making sure all of those are ready and all of our assets are ready for deployment if need be", he said.

Hurricane Isaac is moving toward the Caribbean and could make landfall Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane.

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