National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham said: “This one really scares me”. Hurricane watches and storm surge watches have been issued from Edisto Beach, S.C.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence was at Category 4 strength and will produce extremely unsafe conditions for land in its path.
“Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence”.
Southwest Airlines said travelers booked to fly from six cities from Baltimore to SC can rebook their flights within 14 days of their original dates with no additional cost.
North Carolina State postponed its home game against West Virginia University in Raleigh, North Carolina, adding that tickets will remain valid if the schools are able to reschedule the contest for later in the season. It is now located 950 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear.
Florence is a strong Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour as of Tuesday evening.
If it stays at Category 4, “catastrophic damage will occur”, said the NHC. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.
“This storm is going to knock out power days into weeks”. By sunset Thursday and through most of Friday, our area will see the worst of the conditions, he said.
The Boeing plant will be shut down on Tuesday to give its more than 6,000 employees a chance safely evacuate ahead of the storm, the airplane maker said in a statement.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Hurricane Florence had maximum sustained winds of about 140 miles per hour with higher gusts, a slight weakening from the morning, the NHC said.
If a Category 5 hits the southeastern US, “a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse”, said the NHC.
And the storm surge, which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change.
Northam’s decision comes after costal communities in North Carolina ordered mandatory evacuations and SC officials ordered an evacuation of their entire coast line. Flooding, a metric those categories don’t take into account, can often become a costly problem, as seen when Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of Texas and Louisiana in 2017.
Speaking in the Oval Office alongside Trump, FEMA administrator Brock Long said Florence may be a “very devastating storm”.
“I need to make sure we are focused on Hurricane Florence”, Byard said when asked about Maria.
The National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon increased its rainfall forecast to 15 to 25 inches of rain and 35 inches in isolated spots.
Many newcomers have moved to the coast in the almost 19 years since the last strong hurricane – Floyd – threatened the area.