Hurricane Florence: 'We are planning for devastation'

12 September, 2018, 06:56 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Virginia Governor explains how state is preparing for Hurricane Florence

Florence's centre was expected to move over the Atlantic Ocean between the Bahamas and Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching North and SC on Thursday. It stretches 340 miles across, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The slow-moving storm, the most severe hurricane to threaten the USA mainland this year, was located about 785 miles (1,260 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), according to the NHC. US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.

More than a million coastal residents have been ordered to leave their homes ahead of the storm's projected arrival on Thursday, with emergencies already declared in the states of North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Water temperatures are running in the middle 80s and very little wind to tear it apart.

Miller said residents should prepare for the storm by stocking up on bottled water and batteries for flashlights, ensure storm drains are free of debris and clean gutters and downspouts to prevent basement flooding.

Florence was expected to remain an extremely unsafe, major hurricane and was forecast to approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday, the NHC added.

Florence is forecast to hit the US East Coast on Thursday and could be packing winds of up 150mph.

He said Florence could rival the impact of Hurricane Hugo, which wreaked $7bn (£5.3bn) in damage and claimed 49 lives in 1989.

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As of the 5am update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is still a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and gusts 160-170 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center will issue its next update on the storm at 11 a.m. EDT.

"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference on Tuesday. "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12ft [of water]".

"I must confess I like the atmosphere around it", he said, looking out over the Atlantic.

In addition to thousands of homes and businesses, five military bases and half a dozen nuclear power plants are also in the path of the storm.

Cooper, the governor of neighboring North Carolina, ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County.

Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive. As previously reported by Heavy, the GFS model is still keeping the eye of the storm right on the coast.

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