Stare Down from Space into the Churning Maw of Hurricane Florence

Christopher Davidson
September 14, 2018

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

The warning follows similar cautionary messages which were sent out in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas a year ago. Florence is now a strong Category 2 storm.

Although it's been downgraded to a category two storm with 105mph winds, officials say there could be feet - rather than inches - of rain.

"The larger and slower the storm is, the greater the threat and impact, and we have that here", NHC Director Ken Graham said Thursday. "Remember that floods will occur in places that do not receive a hurricane or even tropical storm level winds".

"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. "So instead of maybe 120 mph winds for 30 minutes, you might end up with 90-100 mph winds for a couple of hours, or three or four hours".

The reptiles are also native to both Carolina states. These sustained winds will continue through much of the weekend. "Especially for people that we've already told to evacuate".

Two detention facilities in SC that are within government-mandated evacuation zones will not relocate inmates ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall there.

At a press conference Thursday morning, officials stressed that Hurricane Florence's wind speed may have fallen, but the danger has not.

In the meantime, "treat the inland flooding just as seriously as you would the storm surge", said Clark.

Mass evacuations ordered as Hurricane Florence approaches US
Due to the storm's enormous size and power, it's been a recent - if not frightening - muse for astronaut photography . Florence is predicted to make landfall tomorrow, with states of emergency in effect in North and SC and Virginia.

With more than 1,500 commercial airline flights in and out of the Carolinas canceled - and potentially many more to come - even the skies above sat empty, except for Florence's foreboding cloud cover and rapidly strengthening rain.

People look out over the surf before Hurricane Florence comes ashore on Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 2018.

Charleston will see a good amount of rain from Florence, but the total rainfall predicted is several inches less than that of cities to the north.

"We will have catastrophic effects". Forecasters are predicting as much as 40in of rain in some localized areas.

Using computer graphics The Weather Channel showed how far inland Hurricane Florence's surge can reach, following low-lying streams.

Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides.

North Carolina and SC are bracing for the onslaught, which could bring storm surges as high as nine feet and rainfall of as much as 40 inches in some areas. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Florence is projecting hurricane-force winds outward up to 80 miles from its center; tropical-storm-force winds are swirling outward up to 195 miles away. Southeast, is expected to make landfall in the coming hours.

"Yes its weakened, but is it strong enough to knock over a tree?" he says of Hurricane Florence.

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