‘Phenomenal’ 83-foot wave detected in Hurricane Florence

Olive Hawkins
September 13, 2018

Florence will likely strike the East Coast with life-threatening storm surge, destructive winds and massive inland rainfall flooding.

Early Wednesday afternoon in North Carolina, the storm was centered 700 kilometers (435 miles) off the coast, moving at 26 kph (16 mph) towards the USA coastline.

If some of the computer projections hold, "it's going to come roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say, 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland,"' said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground forecasting service.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

The storm's surge, the rise in sea water above normally dry land at the coast, could reach up to 13 feet at peak. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper warned. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies. In contrast to the hurricane center's official projection, a highly regarded European model had the storm turning southward off the North Carolina coast and coming ashore near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Roper Hospital in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, is prone to flooding.

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Global News is on the ground in the storm-impacted areas and will be providing updates in the live blog below.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally unsafe to be outside, Graham said.

Emergency preparations in the region included activating over 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the U.S., said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.

Residents are anxiously waiting for the storm to approach. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, a county commissioner.

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