Hurricane Florence's path: What to expect and when

Mae Love
September 11, 2018

Florence, a Category 4 storm packing winds of 130 miles per hour (210 kph), was expected to make landfall on Friday, most likely in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect Tuesday in three USA states as forecasters and officials urge people to get ready for devastating winds and heavy rains from Hurricane Florence.

The storm was still on a path to strike the Carolinas, potentially southern North Carolina, as a major hurricane at about 2 a.m Friday, according to the latest forecast from the hurricane center.

The storm is now 905 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, with landfall predicted between Charleston, South Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.

"Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night", the centre said Tuesday.

With little wind to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field is expected to expand over coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats.

The National Hurricane Center issued a Storm Surge Watch for many of our coastal communities Tuesday morning.

In North Carolina, evacuations were already underway: Dare County officials issued a mandatory evacuation on Monday for Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, and ordered more evacuations for other areas of the county beginning Tuesday morning.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

Hurricane Florence has the potential to bring catastrophic flooding to areas of the eastern United States already soaked by heavy rain.

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Many areas, particularly focused along the North Carolina coastline, could see frequent gusts well over 100 miles per hour with sustained winds near 100 miles per hour as Florence slowly moves ashore.

It warned the storm would be "an extremely unsafe major hurricane" by the time it made landfall, forecast in the Carolinas on Thursday.

Gov. Rick Scott released a statement on Monday urging Floridians to be prepared for the unexpected and remain on alert about Hurricane Florence.

Several spots in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast had one of their wettest summers on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding". "However, if the storm does stall, it could drop 10-20" of rain, leading to flooding well inland.

Hurricane Florence, which was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm last week, was re-upgraded to hurricane status on Sunday and looks like it is destined to barrel straight at the U.S.' East Coast. It was centred east-south-east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west.

Even Wilmington, North Carolina - a coastal city accustomed to severe weather - is bracing for an unusually brutal impact.

Florence "will bring extreme wind damage and surge damage, " said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Eighty-three members of the NYPD and FDNY and six canines were deployed to Kinston, North Carolina, from the NYC Emergency Management warehouse in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

SC will also receive federal assistance after President Donald Trump approved a federal emergency declaration for the Palmetto State.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster said in a press conference.

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