Hurricane Florence - Stories from the front lines

Rosemary Collier
September 13, 2018

"In light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall, I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas", said Deal. It's possible that a storm surge between one and three feet may impact coastal Chesapeake Bay areas.

By late last night, authorities in North Carolina reported almost 7,000 evacuees staying in 71 emergency shelters throughout the state. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime". The storm is expected to bring catastrophic flooding and rain - something that might not be music to the ears of North Carolina lawmakers who banned laws based on the science of sea levels.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (one meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina Thursday night or Friday.

Forecasters say Florence, the first major hurricane to take direct aim at the USA mainland this year, could batter coastal areas with whipping winds, torrential rain and storm surges as high as 9 feet.

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As of 5 a.m. ET today (Sept. 13), Hurricane Florence was churning about 205 miles (325 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carlina, the NHC reported.

While most people, including President Donald Trump, grew concerned over its massive size - some people couldn't help themselves from commenting underneath the comical graphic. A high-pressure ridge over the Central and Eastern US is said to be blocking the storm's further movement along its original vectors, though it could still curve again once over land.

"The power will be off for weeks", Long said. "It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"There are a lot of areas that have never seen flooding are going to experience it", Mr. Pfaff said.

"Hugo was a direct hit", he said. But authorities warn Florence has an enormous wind field as it zeroes in on the Southeast U.S. coast, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land and making Florence extremely risky.

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The centre of Florence, a slow-moving Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, is expected to strike North Carolina late Thursday or early Friday and could drift southwest along the coast before turning inland, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

We found Ronald Batts gassing up and planning to stay put. Florence has weakened a bit over 24 hours, but it's also grown even larger - and it will likely dump torrential rain over North and SC through Monday. "The issue most closely monitored right now is the supply chain".

Michael Kennedy, an engineer at Boeing, said he planned to leave on Tuesday for his parents' home in Atlanta, Georgia. Officials didn't reveal exactly which institutions would be evacuated due to security concerns, but said evacuated prisoners would get a free phone call to notify loved ones.

"He was thinking of coming here until this morning, and now he asked me if I wanted to come up there", he said. "I'll be living there for a few days".

"This one really scares me", said National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham.

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