'Monster' Hurricane Florence Nears Carolina Coast

Olive Hawkins
September 12, 2018

President Trump on Tuesday said the federal government is sparing no expense in its response to what appears to be imminent destruction on USA east coast from Hurricane Florence. Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds up to 140 miles per hour (220 kph) and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week. CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported that lanes, at noon, will be reversed on four of the largest roads leading to the SC coast, so cars will only be able to drive inland. He noted that Dominion Energy Inc's Surry plant in Virginia could also be affected if Florence turns north.

CNN reported that after landfall, storm surges up to 13 feet are expected along the coasts.

Forecasts from the National Hurricane Center on September 11 showed Florence reach North and SC as the weekend begins. For the period between 2016-2035, there were more hurricanes in general and 11 per cent more hurricanes of the Category 3, 4 and 5 classes; by the end of the century, there were 20 per cent more of the worst storms. A Category 5 designation means winds of 253 kilometres per hour or higher. "It is an extremely risky, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said.

"It looks like it will be North Carolina". "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen".

"This is not a storm that people need to ride out", Cooper told reporters. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster", he said.

America's National Weather Service has warned that the storm is likely to bring, "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding" when it hits land on Thursday or Friday. The federal government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence, the president said, according to a live stream of his press conference at the White House.

Early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Florence was less than 600 miles away from the North Carolina coast moving quickly to the west/northwest at nearly 20 mph.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that storm surge watches and warnings are in effect for the entire North Carolina coast and parts of SC.

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The storm's track is now heading toward the North Carolina city of Jacksonville, about 50 miles north of Wilmington. Hurricane Florence rapidly intensified on Monday after being reduced to a tropical storm over the weekend.

Residents prepared by boarding up their homes and stocking up on food, water and other essentials, stripping shop shelves of stock.

While many coastal residents heeded mandatory evacuation orders, others boarded up homes and businesses and chose to courageous the storm, which is forecast to trigger severe flash flooding as it dumps as many as three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas.

This is a large and exceptionally powerful storm, and although it may weaken slightly before making landfall, its winds are forecast to reach at least 130mph.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC ahead of the Category 4 hurricane, which frees up help from federal agencies.

She warned: "All eyes are focused on this storm, Hurricane Florence". Eight dogs and 18 cats from a shelter in Norfolk, Virginia, were sent to two shelters in Washington to make room for pets expected to be displaced by the hurricane.

Perhaps most significantly, the new research finds that rapid intensification appears to be the key mechanism driving stronger storms in a warmer climate. The vast stretch of a water body, high temperatures, and high air pressure above the thunder clouds are the factors that help to sustain a hurricane.

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