Florence is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast late this week and turn slowly left - a development that would smash the Tar Heel State with life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and inundating rain while also endangering a large portion of SC.
This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend. "The combination of a unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".
PHOTO: People and pets evacuate ahead of the forecasted landfall of Hurricane Florence and seek shelter at Burgaw Middle School in Burgaw, N.C., on September 2018.
More than a thousand flights have been canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence's arrival in the Carolinas, and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended as the region braces for impact.
The storm surge - often the most perilous risk to life posed by any hurricane - is expected to inundate areas along the coast with saltwater that's 9 to 13 feet deep, from Cape Fear, N.C., to Cape Lookout, N.C. The effects of torrential rain are devastating, costly, and deadly, especially in urban areas where concrete comprises the basis of most structures and makes it incredibly hard for water to drain. That puts it at the upper range of Category 2 storms, which have winds from 96 to 110 miles per hour.
Florence, now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), was previously expected to travel north, up the North Carolina coast, after making landfall, according to the statement.
The National Weather Service said about 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches. "Don't plan to leave once the winds and rain start", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. "It's a big one".
"We'll handle it. We're ready".
Mayor Joe Benson said the storm will batter the oceanside town through two high tide periods. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".
Keep in mind that the storm is just now coming ashore, and the winds and waves will get worse as the hours go on. Its new path indicates that after arriving in the area near Wilmington, North Carolina, the storm will dip to the south before resuming a western course, the FWS explained in the statement. Tornadoes are possible Thursday in eastern North Carolina. So they think: 'Hell, what should we would do?
Scientists hypothesize that a warmer world will bring slower storms, so what we saw last year with Harvey - and now this year with Florence - could be a sign of those changes. It's expected to make landfall later today.
The storm's centre is expected to make landfall Friday (local time) in southeast North Carolina, which will coincide with the most severe effects. Flash floods will be a major problem for some areas, and the overall flooding could be catastrophic.
A hurricane's numerical classification tends to dominate the headlines, but it tells only part of the story - it rates a storm's wind speeds - and not necessarily the most life-threatening part.
Duke Energy Corp. expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.