Hurricane Florence bears down on Carolinas

Arnold Nichols
September 14, 2018

Florence was located about 325 miles east-southeast of Myrtle beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

The National Hurricane Center has, accordingly, warned of "Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians late this week into early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland".

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.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We call them disasters because they break things", said FEMA's Long.

"You put your life at risk by staying", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

"This is a very unsafe storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground.

Duke Energy, the nation's No 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. It was forecast to make landfall Friday morning or afternoon near Cape Fear, North Carolina, bringing up to 40 inches (1 metre) of rain in places.

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence on September 12, 2018.


Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington monitored the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave. It is expected that the hurricane moves on or near the coastline during the night of Thursday through Friday.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director. "It's going to happen". In South Carolina, close to the Georgia line, Beaufort County emergency chief Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case. "I should stay in my house, where I have water and food".

"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen", Trump on Wednesday. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together".

Florence is now heading for ocean water that has surface temperatures of about 85 degrees, meaning it will most likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.

A smaller hurricane dubbed Isaac is reportedly heading for the Caribbean, while Hurricane Helene - now also in the Atlantic - is forecast to track towards the UK.

People have been ordered to evacuate the Carolinas ahead of strong winds and heavy rain as the hurricane lands.

Sandbags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, N.C., September 12, 2018, as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast.

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Georgia, crashes into waves in the surf bolstered by the incoming Hurricane Florence on the south beach of Tybee Island, Georgia.

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