Carolinas brace for the worst as monstrous Hurricane Florence nears

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence is continuing to move west-northwest and is still forecast to hit North Carolina and SC, bringing destructive storm surges, rain, and wind.

North and SC residents all along the eastern Atlantic coast are evacuating ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Florence.

And the storm surge, which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change. Another four million people are under a tropical storm watch. North Carolina is the top USA turkey producer, ranks third for chicken and is home to more hogs than any state other than Iowa, government data show.

As a result, the coastal Carolinas will suffer more than 24 hours of hurricane-force winds and storm surge, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

"There's just certain times of year when you just don't want to put waste on fields", said Mike Yoder, an associate director and coordinator for emergency-response programs at North Carolina State University Extension.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now". "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster", he said.

And an unusual combination of other weather systems that are likely to stall Florence when it hits the Carolinas, allowing it to sit for days and dump huge amounts of rain. It may move a little north into Virginia or a little south into SC. "A lot of local people are staying", she said of the island, which is reachable only by ferry or plane.

As Hurricane Florence continues to build strength and head toward the East Coast, airlines around the United States have started waiving change fees for travelers scheduled to fly in or out of potentially impacted cities.

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Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has been hit by only one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 130mph winds, in 1954.

CoreLogic's analysis of the path and intensity of the storm indicates that a wide swath communities along the East Coast, ranging from Charleston, South Carolina to Virginia Beach, Virginia, are vulnerable.

"There's never been a storm like Florence". The Federal Emergency Management Agency is warning residents to get out while roads are still open and uncrowded.

Utilities deployed crews and gear in advance, with workers en route to the region from at least 15 states, according to trade group, the Edison Electric Institute. Tropical storm-force winds would extend almost 300 km across three states.

"In my area, we flooded in 2015". "It also has the highest potential to cause the most destruction". He says the biggest concern right now is for the cotton crop. A hospital in Hampton, Virginia, was transferring patients to safer places. "This evacuation is for the safety of thousands of Virginians living in that zone". He said that the federal government was prepared to spend whatever was necessary and make every preparation possible for the storm.

"We are sparing no expense".

"The risk is probably not that rain is going to fall into the pits", Holleman said "The risk is that land and water will compromise the dams".

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