Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Storm surge could be Hurricane Florence's deadliest, most destructive threat

Storm surge could be Hurricane Florence's deadliest, most destructive threat

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 200kmh winds on Thursday, but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

The numbers are expected to soar as the storm's winds and torrential rains sweep over more land.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged, significant river flooding", the hurricane centre said.

Steve Troxler, North Carolina's Agriculture Commissioner, says preparation is key to minimizing losses.

Power outages from Florence, which was downgraded to a tropical storm early Friday evening, have topped 700,000 customers. He said all roads leading to his neighborhood were blocked by fallen trees. At least 51 inches of rain were measured by a gauge outside of Houston, a new record for rainfall brought to a single area by a storm in the U.S.

NHC stated at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars and surface observations to be just inland near latitude 34.1 degrees north and longitude 77.9 degrees west.

Video posted on Twitter showed a meteorologist telling viewers they'd be taken to coverage from sister station WPDE in Myrtle Beach.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Tropical storm-force winds extended 175 miles from Florence's center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles. Currently, the storm remains a risky category four hurricane.

Late Wednesday, the storm had weakened slightly to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kph) as it approaches the North and SC coasts. The two-lane highway is the only route to the mainland other than ferries.

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Eudy's family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said.

Hurricane Florence put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as the monster storm closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled.

And Florence will nearly surely depress auto production in SC, where Volvo already has closed a new factory near Charleston because it's in an area under mandatory evacuation orders, said spokesman Russell Datz.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.

But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, drenching coastal communities for hours on end.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. REUTERS/Chris KeanePeople walk past a boarded up building before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018. We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas. "The power will go off. Infrastructure will be damaged". He says that "over the years the state government and the federal government have become very coordinated in their ability to manage the pre-deployment of assets (and) the response to the citizens of those states, and we will soon be into the recovery".

This is according to data from poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA's electrical power grid.

The streets of coastal towns of the States of North and SC in the United States was flooded by sea water.

More than 440,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC yesterday, utility officials said.

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