UPDATE: Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence resumed its second week of impacts with much of the same – flooding that cut off entire towns, water rescues in parts of the Carolinas that have been inundated, evacuations as rivers continued to rise, and more tragedy, according to The Weather Channel
The storm is responsible for at least 37 deaths – 27 in North Carolina, eight in South Carolina and two in Virginia.
UNITED STATES — September 11, 2018 — The U.S. Atlantic coast is bracing for damage as Hurricane Florence aims to make landfall on the Carolinas and Virginia Thursday evening to Friday morning, September 13, according to multiple sources. According to CBS, more than 10 million people are under tropical storm and hurricane warnings.
Friday, September 14
Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC, 5 miles east of Wilmington, NC, around 7 a.m. according to multiple sources. Though the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1, it still poses a substantial threat to the Carolinas and Virginia due to its massive size (roughly 200 miles wide) and its slow movement (3 mph). Because of the speed of the storm, forecasters continue to warn against flooding, with rainfall expected up to 40 inches in some places. The eye Florence is expected to hit the coastline around midday local time.
Flooding in low-lying areas in the region began as early as Thursday night as storm surges pushed water levels up in rivers and tributaries. NPR reports New Bern, NC, 100 miles northeast of Wilmington, saw severe flooding during the night on Thursday. More than 100 people were rescued in the night, while another 100 or more waited for rescue. No doubt this need will continue as Florence continues to dump water on the area.
— New Bern PD (@NewBernPD) September 14, 2018
Thursday, September 13
Hurricane Florence was downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 2, with sustained winds of approximately 100 mph. Thursday afternoon, North Carolina began feeling the outer bands of the Hurricane. The main concern continues to be rainfall, as the storm is expected to hover in place after it makes landfall, dumping continuous rain before moving further inland, much like Hurricane Harvey did in 2017.
— SCEMD (@SCEMD) September 13, 2018
Storm surges and 100 mph or higher winds, in addition to heavy rain, will cause serious damage to structures and endanger lives of those who remain in the area during the storm. The Most projections have Hurricane Florence hitting the Wilmington area, north of Myrtle Beach.
Tuesday, September 11
[one_half] Many coastal areas of the states received mandatory evacuation orders from their respective governors, including all of South Carolina’s 187-mile coast, according to CNN and other outlets, with more than a million people under the current orders. North Carolina’s Outer Banks and other islands are especially worrisome, as there are few bridges, with some areas requiring evacuation by ferry. Maryland also expects the worst from the hurricane, and all four states have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. [/one_half]
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Hurricane Florence formed quickly, growing from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane in less than 24 hours, Sunday to Monday. Though the storm weakened to a Category 3 storm early Tuesday morning, it is expected to pick up speed as it nears the coastline.
Meteorologists say there is a chance Florence will reach Category 5 strength winds by landfall Thursday or Friday, and CNN reports potential storm surges to 12 feet and rain up to 30 inches.
Multiple coastal locations reported being sold out of generators, as well as low-to-no supplies of water, flashlights, boarding, and other hurricane supplies.
After a slow, low-damage hurricane season so far, halfway through the season, Eastern U.S. has seen two hurricanes in the last two weeks, first with Hurricane Gordon, which weakened into a tropical storm by landfall, and now with Hurricane Florence.
Stay tuned for more updates as the storm progresses.