As Hurricane Florence nears, shelters ask for volunteers to take in animals

Olive Hawkins
September 12, 2018

A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 152cm of rain for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", said University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy.

It's going to hit our coast; it's going to stay on our coast. A large swath of Virginia could also see between 10 and 15 inches of rain.

Added to this Florence is likely to slow down as she moves inland through Friday and the weekend bringing a "prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event", according to the key message from the NHC.

Since then, the coastal population has grown by thousands of people.

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going". The storm's track is now heading toward the North Carolina city of Jacksonville, about 50 miles north of Wilmington.

The center of the storm is expected to move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and will approach the Carolinas by Thursday.

Cooper and his counterparts in neighboring SC and Virginia ordered about 1 million people to evacuate coastal homes, including along the Outer Banks barrier islands.

"Florence is going to drop tremendous amount of rain, not as much as [Hurricane] Harvey brought to Texas but there will nearly definitely be flooding", Salna says.

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Craig Fugate, a former Fema director, said: "I'm afraid, based on my experience at Fema, that the public is probably not as prepared as everybody would like".

The storm's potential path also includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons. Some areas had almost 60 inches of rain.

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.

Hurricane Florence rapidly intensified on Monday after being reduced to a tropical storm over the weekend.

Spirit Airlines is letting passengers traveling in the southeast from September 12 to 16 reschedule travel for free, although flights booked beyond September 20 may have to pay a fare difference.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued a mandatory evacuation for a portion of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore in preparation of the impact of Hurricane Florence.

A shop owner boards up his Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, building.

Liz Browning Fox was planning to ride out the storm on the Outer Banks, defying evacuation orders. But even the most secure homes could be surrounded by water, or penetrated by wind-launched debris. "There is no way to be completely safe", but going inland might not be much safer.

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