Hurricane historian says Florence similar to Hazel, Fran, Floyd

  • Hurricane historian says Florence similar to Hazel, Fran, Floyd

Hurricane historian says Florence similar to Hazel, Fran, Floyd

The storm, which reached Category 4 status on Monday, is expected to hit the Carolinas on Thursday or Friday.

Wilson County is under a Tropical Storm Watch and could receive anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of rain, Sharp said, with 15 to 16 inches possible in areas.

Officials are also predicting major flooding in places "well away" from the storm's landfall, such as West Virginia, Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and northern Georgia, Steve Goldstein, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration liaison to FEMA, said on the call.

He later added: "Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm".

Trump, who has faced criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed an estimated 3,000 people in the USA territory of Puerto Rico, knocked out power to all 3.4 million residents of the Caribbean island, with thousands still without power even six months after the storm hit, said the federal government was "totally prepared" for Florence. It is expected to intensify to near Category 5 status as it slows over very warm ocean water near North and SC.

It could weaken on Thursday, according to current predictions, but officials cautioned Florence will most probably remain "an extremely unsafe major hurricane through landfall".

Washington's mayor on Tuesday declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Florence bears down on the US East Coast, threatening torrential rain and flooding in the capital region. At more than 470 miles across, Florence is 56% wider than the typical Atlantic hurricane.

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going". A hurricane watch is in effect for a part of this area. "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny" Graham said. Since then, thousands of people have moved to the coast. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling and think about 12ft of water - that, folks, is extremely life-threatening".

Florence is a strong Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour as of Tuesday evening.

"I'm prayed up and as ready as I can get", Steven Hendrick said as he filled up gasoline cans near Conway, South Carolina.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway - the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities.

Nuclear power plants in the area were preparing for the storm, with Duke Energy Corp's Brunswick and Harris plants in North Carolina's were most likely to be affected, said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Roger Hannah.