Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Airlines Waiving Change Fees Ahead of Hurricane Florence

The clouds within the red square are the outer bands of Hurricane Helene The clouds within the red square are the outer bands of Hurricane
Frank Williams | 15 September, 2018, 05:16

Mandatory evacuations are in place amid forecasts for a 12-foot (3.7-meter) storm surge, and expectations of as much as $27 billion in damages. Its crops include corn, soy and cotton, making agriculture the state's No. 1 industry, valued at $87 billion. "At this point, it's a waiting game, but we're not taking any chances".

"We're going to look over our flood maps and see where we've had problems in the past. Everybody in the area has been busy trying to get corn in and just about everyone is finished up that". Because of the amount of rain expected, "historic" flooding could occur from Thursday through Sunday. We are back at it again. "A lot of local people are staying", she said of the island, which is reachable only by ferry or plane. It's very important we work together as a team.

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC on Thursday".

Ahead of the storm, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an emergency declaration that eases regulations for truckers from many states along the East Coast providing storm assistance.

The National Hurricane Center said Monday the monster storm will be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday.

There's the potential that spillover from open lagoons or wash away from barns or fields could get into water used for drinking or recreation, according to the Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental group.

"As I tweeted with Harvey last year.it is important to understand the potential one-two punch from Hurricane Florence", University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd said. A hurricane watch was in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Virginia's southern border, with the first hurricane-force winds arriving late Thursday.

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The National Hurricane Center said: "Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding is possible over portions of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states from late this week into early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland".

One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45 inches (115 centimetres) in parts of North Carolina.

At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the northern Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered on Monday to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost of the state's barrier islands. It's now predicted to make landfall somewhere north of Wilmington, N.C., before its center heads inland toward the cities of Raleigh and Durham.

"We face three critical threats from Florence: ocean surge along our coast, strong winds, and inland flooding from heavy rain", Governor Cooper said. Additionally, there will be damaging winds that could top 100 miles per hour, isolated tornadoes, and "devastating" storm surge.

Virginia governor Ralph Northam's evacuation order applies to about 245,000 people, including parts of the Hampton Roads area and Eastern Shore.

This story will be updated as more information is available regarding the reopening of schools.

It remains an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday night. "This evacuation is for the safety of thousands of Virginians living in that zone".

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