Hurricane Florence's Path Remains Uncertain As Storm Closes In On Carolinas

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

The hurricane center is forecasting the storm to hover near the coast Saturday with winds of around 80 miles per hour before landfall, but with rainfall in the 20 to 30 inches range and up to 13 feet of storm surge.

A tropical storm warning, indicating the expectation of conditions below hurricane-strength winds, is in effect for coastal areas north of the Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Va., and in Chesapeake Bay, south of New Point Comfort, Va.

"A life-threatening storm surge is highly likely along portions of the coastline of SC and North Carolina, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for a portion of this area", the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", it said early Wednesday.

According to the NHC forecast at 5 p.m. on September 12, the storm is forecast to slow down near the coast of North and SC before it passes over the states and into Georgia.

Some of the people escaping the potential wrath of Hurricane Florence are finding shelter here in Northeast Ohio.

Duke Energy told The Associated Press that damage from Hurricane Florence could cut off electricity to three-quarters of some 4 million customers in the Carolinas.

"We stacked about three different layers, just kind of like to help with the windows, keep them safe, break up the wind channels so the building doesn't take a direct hit from 150 miles per hour winds", said Matthews Motors service manager Mark Yandell.

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Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. The shopping list for people who have made a decision to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. A hurricane watch was issued for Edisto Beach, S.C., to the South Santee River.

"In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again", he said. Adding to the storm stress is uncertainty about where exactly Florence will make landfall, after a shift in its track put more of the Southeast in danger.

The states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland have all declared states of emergency ahead of Florence.

As people are migrating south to escape the storm, Red Cross employees and Coast Guard personnel from Jacksonville headed the other way Wednesday to assignments from SC to Virginia.

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. Most other beachgoers were long gone. "Also, a little creepy".

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