Mindful of devastation wrought by a string of deadly US hurricanes previous year, residents in the Carolinas began the rituals of disaster preparation – boarding up windows and stocking up on groceries, water and gasoline.
The “extremely unsafe major hurricane” is predicted to hit the coast late Thursday or early Friday morning, dropping as much as 30 inches of rain in some areas, says the National Hurricane Center. He also noted that he’d been in contact with the governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to assure them the federal government was available to provide assistance. “Storm Surge and Hurricane watches are likely be issued for portions of these areas on Tuesday”, said the NHC. Cape Lookout to Ocracoke Island could see 5 to 8 feet of water, experts say.
He wrote: “My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years”.
On Sunday afternoon, Olivia was about 595 miles east-northeast of Hilo and was narrowly registering as a Category 1 hurricane moving west at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds at about 75 miles per hour.
It is now moving west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour and that speed is expected to increase in the next few days, says the center. There is the chance that Isaac will strike Puerto Rico – still recovering from the deadly Hurricane Maria last September – as a tropical storm.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam also issued mandatory evacuations to begin Tuesday morning for the most low-lying, flood prone areas of the state – the Eastern Shore and a section of coast identified by officials as “Zone A”.
More than a million people are expected to flee low-lying areas, as SC and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuations of coastal areas starting on Tuesday.
Along with the storm surge, winds from Florence are expected to cause major damage.
But communities along the North and SC coast will likely see storm surge and damaging winds as Florence comes ashore. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The storm is expected to close in on the area Thursday night.
“After 48 hours, a slight increase in southwesterly shear could result in some weakening, but Florence is expected to remain an extremely unsafe hurricane when it approaches the US coastline”.
Hurricane Florence was traveling over warm Atlantic waters and gaining energy as it moved 625 miles southeast of Bermuda Monday.
We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit. Shelves in some grocery stores in Raleigh, North Carolina, were already bare, and residents were filling up their petrol tanks.
North and South Carolina are under a state of emergency, and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered the coastline to evacuate.