People flee as 'catastrophic' Hurricane Florence sweeps towards America

Pablo Tucker
September 12, 2018

Mattis said he has no particular areas of concern as the military girds for Hurricane Florence, in some cases assigning special authorities that he said have already been delegated to commanders.

Compounding the issue of flooding is the type of summer North Carolina has had. The storm will likely dump between 20 and 30 inches (50 to 76 centimeters) of rain over its track, causing serious flooding.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Florence could produce sustained winds of 241 km/h over the next 24 hours - just shy of the 252 km/h threshold that would push it to Category 5 strength.

President Donald Trump has insisted that the government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for the arrival of the hurricane.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Goes-East weather-monitoring satellite used its lightning mapping technology for a video showing Florence, Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Helene as they traveled across the Atlantic on Tuesday.

North Carolina State postponed its home game against West Virginia University in Raleigh, North Carolina, adding that tickets will remain valid if the schools are able to reschedule the contest for later in the season.

Interested in Hurricane Florence?

It is expected to make landfall Friday.

Hurricane Florence has already caused Coastal Carolina to move its game against Campbell that was scheduled for Saturday in Conway, Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET in Buies Creek, N.C.

The storm is so large, even central OH could receive rain from the system, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

A storm surge watch is also in effect for part of this area.

At 4am BST Wednesday the "monster" storm was centred 670 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph.

South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline evacuated starting at noon Tuesday and predicted that 1 million people would flee as highways reverse directions.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) is warning residents across the Carolinas and other mid-Atlantic states that "catastrophic" flash flooding and "significant" river flooding is possible, with 38 to 63 centimetres of rainfall expected from Florence. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina. "A lot of local people are staying", she said of the island, which is reachable only by ferry or plane. "Florence has rapidly intensified into an extremely risky hurricane", Blake wrote Monday evening that top sustained winds would approach the 157 miles per hour (253 kph) threshold for a worst-case Category 5 scenario. We do have a pretty old facility here, so we're hoping it doesn't blow away in the storm.

Florence has forced people to cut their holidays short along the coast, while the storm's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons.

An evacuation order from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam applies to about 245,000 people, including parts of the Hampton Roads area and Eastern Shore.

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