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.
Hurricane Florence kept everyone on edge Wednesday, when the storm began sliding southward and taking aim at the Georgia coast.
The massive storm is threatening the East Coast of the USA with an expected landfall early Friday. The forecast shows landfall occurring early on September 15, 2018 after an update indicated weather conditions would slow down the storm; the update was issued on September 12, 2018. There are 5.25 million people under hurricane warnings and watches and another 4.89 million under tropical storm watches and warnings.
Florence, a category 4 hurricane, is now moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 17mph.
Due to the storm’s enormous size and power, it’s been a recent – if not frightening – muse for astronaut photography.
People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes. It was a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour or higher.
In Carolina Beach, an island community off the coast of Wilmington, 75 percent of residents have already left town.
“The longer it stays, the more wind, the more rain”.
Rainfall totals from Hurricane Florence will top 20 inches in some areas, the National Weather Service says.
“But I’m staying”, she said.
In addition to the heavy rain potential, gusty winds will also be a good bet.
“This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding”, the hurricane center says.
One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45 inches (115 centimeters) in parts of North Carolina.
Where we were: Last year’s deadly hurricane season had plenty of economic impact, especially given the widespread damage in Houston.
“All my staff are gone”, Thompson said. “This is not a pretty sight”.
But despite the potentially devastating hurricane, forecast to make landfall on Friday with 130mph winds, people tried to offer some “relief” in the silence before the storm.
Florence’s path remains uncertain. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm’s center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC. Many areas in the low-lying city flood with routine rain storms, causing street closures and detours. And with the Appalachian Mountains to the west, there could be flooding and mudslides, experts worry.