Hurricane Florence has ingredients that make experts worry

Olive Hawkins
September 13, 2018

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday".

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet of water in spots, projections showed.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference his state was in "the bull's eye".

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

"I can't emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm".

People weren't the only ones evacuating. Already a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, it was moving over warmer water and expected to intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour (253 kph) or higher.

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NHC forecasts showed the effects of Florence would be widely felt, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 300 miles across three states.

"The safety of American people is my absolute highest priority", Trump said in the Oval Office at the conclusion of a briefing by the heads of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

There is quite of bit of certainty in the tracking forecast, replied Brock when asked by the president whether Florence could veer off course away from coastal areas.

Its expected sluggishness is becoming more common, a result of climate change, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist and hurricane expert Jim Kossin.

"The power is going to be off for weeks", warned Long, adding that the hazards will be statewide.

One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45 inches (115 centimetres) in parts of North Carolina. "We know we can't play around with this", said Jennifer Oosterwyk, who owns the Sugar Britches boutique on Holden Beach and lives in nearby Wilmington.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches (50 centimetres) of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches (25 centimetres) elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive. More than one million residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered. Typically, local governments in North Carolina make the call on evacuations.

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