Hurricane Florence: Storm force winds for North Carolina within hours

Christopher Davidson
September 13, 2018

The contraflow will end Thursday at noon on 501 and at 6 p.m. on I-26.

On Wednesday, Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, but is still considered extremely unsafe. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the National Hurricane Center said.

"So this is a very risky storm", said Mr Byard.

The storm's center was about 170 miles southeast of Wilmington at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a National Hurricane Center briefing.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

"A slow motion over eastern SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night". "The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".

A hurricane warning is in effect for a big chunk of the Carolina coast, from the South Santee River below Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Duck, N.C. - part of the Outer Banks. These unforgiving winds will damage homes and buildings, down trees and knock out power.

The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse.

Meanwhile the hurricane is forecast to dump 1ft to 2ft 6in of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and farms.

While Zone A is a mandatory evacuation zone, a city spokesperson said they would never force anyone to leave.

Hurricane Florence could 'kill a lot of people'
Next week, when Florence has finally passed the Carolinas and moved into the Ohio Valley, the rain will have been the big story. The agency is also warning people in the evacuation areas to leave stating that "This is not going to be a glancing blow".

"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way, especially for people that we've already told to evacuate", Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said.

Residents of the Carolinas and neighboring states should consult local authorities for any evacuation orders and other preparation guidelines.

"Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Some forecasters have predicted it could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the region.

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.

Town Manager Mike Cramer said law enforcement officers will try to assess how many people are still on the island immediately south of Wilmington.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

A power outage model run at the University of MI projects that 3.2 million customers will be without electricity because of the storm, mostly in the eastern half of North Carolina. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarpaulins. Will the winds be that strong or they'll be stronger when they get here than that?

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