Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence could 'kill a lot of people'

Residents of the Sentara Nursing Center in Currituck North Carolina arrive at an affiliated nursing center in Portsmouth V LIVE STREAM: Tracking Hurricane Florence as it takes aim at Southeast
Frank Williams | 13 September, 2018, 23:29

"Heed the warnings", said Byard, adding there was "well over $20 billion" in FEMA's disaster relief fund.

"Since the track is slower and the storm will reside in the area for a longer period of time rainfall amounts are expected to be extreme", Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said in a statement. Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 105 miles per hour (165 kph).

"We are completely ready for hurricane Florence, as the storm gets even larger and more powerful".

The 400-mile wide storm is predicted to start slamming the Carolinas coast Thursday afternoon, then spread inland across the Columbia metro area - with Chesterfield, Lee, Sumter and Clarendon counties now under a tropical storm watch for the first time.

"Our sand dunes are healthy but they're not going to be able to keep back a wall of water like that", he said.

Hurricane Florence is predicted to creep across the coast from North Carolina to SC, drenching a wide area after making landfall late Thursday or early Friday.

North Carolina and SC are bracing for the onslaught, which could bring storm surges as high as nine feet and rainfall of as much as 40 inches in some areas.

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A state of emergency has also been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. But because the storm was so large it produced a destructive storm surge in New York City, and caused an estimated $65 billion in damage in the United States.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press.

Hurricane conditions will likely hit the Carolina coast on Thursday night or early Friday. Florence is being trailed in the Atlantic by two other storms - Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac. "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins". Forecasters predict it will make landfall between Thursday and Friday.

"As a outcome A FLOOD-WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR BARBADOS UNTIL 6:00 P.M TODAY, THURSDAY 13TH, 2018 A Flood-Watch means that flooding is possible within the watch area". More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. This includes Wilmington. A hurricane watch extends into the Charleston area.

While Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 2 storm, officials warn that an extreme storm surge and catastrophic flooding are still on the way.

"We're seeing on social media, we're seeing comments and calls coming into our hotline that people are saying, 'Oh, it's only a Cat 2.' Well, only a Cat 2 has winds of up to 96 to 110 miles per hour", Derrec Becker, spokesman for the S.C. Emergency Management Division told The State on Thursday. "Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks". "Once the storm moves further inland to Atlanta and Charlotte, the biggest issue will be rain and thunderstorms", she said.

On Instagram, parenting blogger Chrissy Marie, based in North Carolina, posted a photo of her kids' hurricane party, complete with bright pink balloons.

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