Thursday, 20 September, 2018

As Florence Surges Forward, Rethinking What Hurricane Preparation Looks Like

City taken by one of the Expedition Three crew members on the International Space Stati City taken by one of the Expedition Three crew members on the International Space Stati
Doris Mccormick | 16 September, 2018, 20:29

"Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in".

"The time to prepare is nearly over", Cooper warned.

The group left early Wednesday morning from Rockville. REUTERS/Randall HillDennis Kernodle talks on the phone during storm preparations of his oceanfront home ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.

Up to 1.7 million people are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and coastal residents were frantically boarding up homes and businesses and hitting the road on Wednesday as the storm approached.

The blasting wind and surging water may also damage some of the 16 nuclear reactors located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

With the change in the forecast, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies, and asked people to pray for those in Florence's path.

According to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean, current forecast puts Florence stalling upon reaching the Carolina coast before making a slight shift south and barreling down SC.

The head of Duke Energy Corp.'s North Carolina operations says it could take weeks to restore electricity if the company's prediction that 1 million to 3 million of its 4 million customers lose power.

"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.

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Another FEMA spokesman said: "I need to re-emphasise this is a risky storm".

By Saturday, total rainfall could accumulate to 30 inches (76 centimeters) - or even 40 inches in places - in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the NHC said. After the storm hits, staff are prepared to inspect the sites by foot, boat, and drone.

On Wednesday, McMaster said that emergency lane reversals - using all lanes of I-26 out of Charleston and Highway 501 near Myrtle Beach for westbound traffic - will cease on Thursday, two days after the measure was instituted.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989.

The overall trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

According to NPR, there used to be more hog farms in the North Carolina floodplain, but following Hurricane Floyd in 1999 the state bought out some hog farmers. The office warned that Florence "will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast".

"As we look back at previous events, although hurricanes making landfall in the Carolinas are rare, the losses through this triple-threat of storm surge, wind and inland flood, could also be significant", RMS said in the report.

"The eye of Florence remains very distinct in infrared satellite imagery this morning".

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