Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

Hurricane Florence looks like a nightmarish monstrosity - ‘even from space’

Hurricane Florence looks like a nightmarish monstrosity - ‘even from space’

CAROLINA BEACH, North Carolina (CNN) - Officials in the potential path of a still fierce Hurricane Florence had a stern, clear message for people still in coastal towns under evacuation orders.

The center says the storm is moving northwest at 16 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of about 125 miles per hour.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.

And preparations for this hurricane remind her of Floyd almost 20 years ago, which was the first time she "saw it rain sideways".

The center of the storm was in the Atlantic Ocean about 335 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, on Wednesday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.

The entire coastlines of North and SC, in addition to some parts of southeastern Virginia, are under a mandatory evacuation plan. While some areas of GA may indeed experience impacts now, the remnants of Florence would most likely be a weak tropical depression or remnant low by the time it got this far South.

The US president said he had spoken to governors of threatened states, adding that the "federal government stands by, ready to assist 24/7".

In neighbouring Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan said his state was readying for potentially "historic and catastrophic rainfall, life-threatening flooding, and high winds".

Florence now a Category 2 storm, still dangerous - USA -

Hurricane Florence is predicted to creep across the coast from North Carolina to SC after making landfall late Thursday or early Friday.

The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet of water in spots, projections showed.

The Miami-based center says the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later today. On Wednesday the company activated its emergency storm watcher team, which previously FEMA has said it closely monitors. "These enormous waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction as the storm's motion".

People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

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.

Emergency preparations in the region included activating over 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.

After making landfall this Friday (Sept. 14), the massive storm will now "wobble" southward and then head west, making a "big, grand tour" of the southeastern United States, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) meteorologist Kevin Scasny said in a statement released today (Sept. 12). "We are leaving him our generator, but I don't think it's particularly smart of him". Slower storms mean more rainfall over a smaller area.

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