North and SC residents all along the eastern Atlantic coast are evacuating ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Florence.
Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the US southeast. At 2pm Tuesday afternoon, Florence was located 845 miles (1360km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Tar Heel State on Friday.
Isolated tornadoes are also possible Thursday and Friday.
Liz Browning Fox was planning to ride out the storm on the Outer Banks, defying evacuation orders.
Duke is moving staff and equipment toward North Carolina’s coast to monitor the disposal sites for coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough rain to cover the Tar Heel state in about 10 inches (25 centimeters) of water.
Hurricane Florence isn’t the only storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricanes nearly always set off an orchestrated dance on Wall Street before they make landfall, with shares of property and casualty insurance companies dumped in favour of companies that sell construction supplies or portable generators. “Hurricane-force winds have expanded outward and now extend up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center”.
On Tuesday morning, data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft showed that Florence’s sustained winds had weakened somewhat from the 140 miles per hour speeds reported earlier.
Florence is also expected to bring heavy flooding across the region.
Ahead of Florence’s arrival, barrier islands were already seeing risky rip currents and seawater flowed over a state highway – the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities.
However, the most likely time is Thursday morning and NHC urges people to use Wednesday as the absolutely last day to prepare for the storm.
“All of our computer models that we really like, that we say these are the accurate ones, are all lining up and saying this thing’s going to explode”, Cash said.
According to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the first responders will be joined by a swift water rescue and urban search and rescue teams. “If you are given an evacuation order, please comply immediately before roads get clogged and chaos commences”.
Based on the current forecast, Florence could cause storm surges of 3 to 6 feet above ground level in areas along the coast and near the Albemarle Sound, the center said. She said it was built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, up on a ridge, and made to withstand a hurricane.
Monday night President Trump tweeted about the storm, asking those along the coast to be careful and promising the support of the federal government.
Governors of several states including North and SC have also waived certain trucking and transportation regulations to help prep for the storm – and be ready to take quick action once the worst it over.
The deep moisture that was in place across the region earlier this week, remnant moisture of Gordon that was carried in by the cold front and then stranded as the frontal boundary stalled, was expected to retreat westward as Florence nears the USA coast, resulting in hot, dry weather for the Cumberland Plateau for much of the week. Combined with high tides, the storm surge could swell as high as 12 feet. “If we try to leave, we’ll just get stuck in the rain”, she said.