Flights cancelled in the US Southeast as Hurricane Florence approaches

16 September, 2018, 13:38 | Author: Carlos George
  • Vehicles were directed onto U.S. 501 in Myrtle Beach S.C. Tuesday. The state government ordered traffic to use all the lanes on the route leading away from the coast to facilitate evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence has dropped to a Category 2 status, but it remains "very risky storm" that will hit nearly all of North Carolina, and everybody "needs to pay attention and seek cover", Sen. Because the showers will last for several days, wet soil will likely lead to plenty of downed trees and power outages in and around Charlotte.

It has become likely that the storm will reverse course early next week and turn back north toward West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, albeit significantly weakened.

Areas along the coast from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, NC, including the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay rivers may experience storm surges from 9 to 13 feet.

"Once those high winds get here.it will be very hard, if not impossible, for anybody to come rescue you if you are in harm's way in one of those zones", McMaster said at a news conference Wednesday.

Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the US southeast.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warn that Florence remains deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane.

The storm is expected to slowly move into North and SC on Thursday, and conditions are expected to get worse.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100mph, but that is still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

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More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. He confirmed that due to rising waters, some people are waiting for rescue in their attics and on their roofs.

At a news conference just across the bridge in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said a handful of residents on the island have refused evacuation orders. Millions were expected to lose power, perhaps for weeks.

"The time to leave is running out, there will come a time when it will be too late and the rescue teams will not be able to come because they will also have to take refuge", warned South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

SC officials say more than 400,000 people have evacuated the state's coast and more than 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters as Hurricane Florence approaches. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the center.

"As soon as a storm is about to hit, all traffic stops in and out of the area until the storm calms down and the roads are clear", she says. That said, the storm still brought powerful storm surges and risky flooding.

"This Hurricane is bringing some rain and water that we have not seen before in Hurricane", McMaster said, "Winds may match that of Hugo, but Florence may bring more rain". Gale force winds of up to 40 miles per hour are still possible, Horne says.

Hurricane Florence strengthened a bit, but then tapped on the brakes as it approached the North Carolina coast Thursday evening. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Florence's path could affect the homes of more than 5 million people, and more than 1 million of them have been ordered to evacuate.

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