Evacuations underway as Florence strengthens to category 4 hurricane

Aaron Brown
September 12, 2018

"We are in a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence".

The slow-moving storm, the most severe hurricane to threaten the US mainland this year, was rated a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and located about 905 miles (1,455 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), according to the NHC. It is passing several hundred miles south of Bermuda (now less than 1,000 miles from coastal North Carolina) and appears to be headed for an eventual landfall in southern sections of North Carolina later this week. Officials have declared states of emergency in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Hotel availability is limited along some of the key evacuation routes in SC, the Greenville News reported Monday. Helene is expected to continue strengthening over the next two days as it rolls west and become a major, Cat 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. A Category 4 hurricane at its strongest, Olivia spent about a week swishing around in the Pacific Ocean without making landfall before it weakened into a tropical storm.

That width measures the tropical force winds generated by Florence, which Anderson said were blowing at speeds from 39 to 73 miles per hour. "Hurricane-force winds, storm surge inundation, again, are all possible in the watch area".

"You're going to get heavy rain, catastrophic life-threatening storm surge, and also the winds", Graham said. The remnants of Florence and the rain will likely not be completed kicked out until sometime early next week. The current forecast for both the impact and aftermath of the hurricane would require those officials to divert critical resources from what could be much more significant duties.

Hurricane-force winds are extending up to 65 kilometres from the storm's centre, while tropical-storm-force winds are blowing out at up to 240 kilometres.

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A National Hurricane Center model showed the Wilmington region being socked with high winds and rain Thursday night and Friday morning. Extremely risky hurricane-force winds could batter coastal locations Thursday into Friday. Sharp added that some areas could see flooding where he hasn't flooded before.

Delta Air Lines travel to, from, or through cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Savannah, Georgia through September 16 can be rebooked for free by September 20.

The Phillies, chasing the Braves in the NL East, are scheduled to play a home series over the weekend against the Marlins as Florence is expected to make its way inland and north. Some are calling the hurricane the "East Coast Harvey" as it is passing through warmer than usual waters, helping it grow. Wave heights just offshore of the Carolinas will reach 20-to-40 feet or higher. That would make it the most destructive storm in US history in terms of financial losses for homeowners and businesses.

There is no out to sea solution. "And we here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit", Cooper told a news conference.

Residents can all the state's emergency hotline at 1-866-246-0133 if they have questions about the ongoing preparations for Hurricane Florence.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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