Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Hurricane Florence

  • Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Hurricane Florence

Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence churned toward an eventual Eastern Seaboard landfall, evacuations were imposed for parts of three East Coast states Tuesday and millions of Americans prepared for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the region in decades.

Residents scrambled to flee en masse as the menacing Category 4 storm packing winds of 220 kilometers per hour bore down on the East Coast of the United States.

"I have just been informed that this is one of the worst hurricanes that came to the East coast for many years".

USC Athletics sends its thoughts and prayers to those preparing for the storm and hope that you will be safe and careful during this time.

The storm "is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", SC governor Henry McMaster said, issuing his state's emergency declaration.

If the storm stalls, some areas could see feet of rain, especially if downpours focus over the higher terrain in western North Carolina and southwestern and central Virginia Authorities said such volume could cause flash floods, mudslides, and other risky conditions. It was located father north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented.

Florence was producing large swells expected to reach from the northern Caribbean to the southern coasts of Canada's maritime provinces.

But while wind speed offers an easily quantifiable way to rate risky storms, forecasters are warning people not to fixate on that, saying that saltwater from the storm surge and freshwater from heavy rains pose a serious threat, no matter what the top winds are when the hurricane makes landfall.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and this area of the ocean is seeing temperatures peak near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

The National Hurricane Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that Hurricane Florence may lead to a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall.

"We don't want the school children in harm's way", McMaster said, adding Hurricane Florence would create more wind than Hurricane Hugo and more water than Hurricane Matthew.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

By noon on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130mph.

Florence is "rapidly strengthening", with maximum sustained winds increasing to 170km/h, making it a category 2 storm, the second-weakest on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

It's possible that the storm will slow significantly as it moves inland, stalling out and dumping huge amounts of rain, Pallozzi says.

"Florence is going to be an extremely risky major hurricane", said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Not only has the storm exploded in intensity, but its zone of hurricane-force winds approximately doubled in size Monday.

Two other storms are spinning in the Atlantic.

States of emergency have been declared in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, with President Donald Trump approving emergency declarations in South and North Carolina.

"Strong high pressure to the north is likely to enhance winds farther north along the coast than what would normally occur", Sosnowski said. The storm could soon be on the brink of a Category 5. North Carolina has ordered the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost of its Outer Banks barrier islands.

In this NOAA satellite handout image, shows Hurricane Florence (C) as it gains strength in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Bermuda moving west on September 10, 2018.