Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.
The Upstate could get 4 to 8 inches of rain if the latest forecast track for Hurricane Florence holds, according to the National Weather Service at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.
Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 miles per hour (110 kph), and it’s at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 miles per hour (6 kph). Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175miles.
“Don’t play games with it”.
“This one really scares me”, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.
If the storm track brings the center of circulation closer to Georgia, we could see some of that heavy rain as well, particularly in the northeastern mountains where slopes are particularly steep and rainfall amounts will be increased by the mountainous terrain.
A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.
Maue calculates that 34 million people will get at least 3 inches, with more than 5.7 million getting at least a foot and about 1.5 million getting 20 inches or more. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting through Friday.
“Once the storm gets near Wilmington, it’s going to stall”, Panovich said. But if you didn’t have to evacuate then, Panovich says you shouldn’t have to evacuate your home just yet, but as always, you should be prepared for rising water.
Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to evacuate.
Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty.
Since Tuesday, forecasts have shifted the storm track towards the south and southwest after it reaches the coast, which could increase the storm’s severity in coastal SC through Myrtle Beach and Charleston and even into parts of Georgia. The track continues to having it make landfall anywhere from SC to portions of Virginia.
Coastal residents fleeing a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 140 miles per hour (225 kph) winds and drenching rain that could last for days.
President Donald Trump has urged residents to heed the official evacuation warnings.
“We’ve had our lessons”.
Aside from the storm surge and coastal flooding, expect colossal freshwater flooding as well.
“We’re just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time”, David Garrigus said.
It is very important to point out that changes in the forecast track are still possible and even small changes in the storm could greatly change the expected conditions in your area.
“Yesterday we were looking at double-digit rainfall totals over a fairly wide area”.
The East Coast isn’t the only area facing the brunt of a storm. As of Saturday, about 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC. That’s because the longer this slow-moving hurricane hovers over land, the more rain it’ll dump in the same places.