Map of North Carolina Showing Latest GFS, European Models

Jan Cross
September 12, 2018

With the storm churning across the Atlantic with 140 miles per hour winds, hurricane watches and warnings include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast. And with the Appalachian Mountains to the west, there could be flooding and mudslides, experts worry.

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

Florence is still a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 130 miles per hour.

The Category 4 storm was expected to start hitting the North and SC coasts sometime Thursday or Friday, and should make landfall near Wilmington, N.C., early Saturday morning, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is expected to make landfall in North and SC in the next few days, with winds of up to 220 kilometres an hour.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC, opening the way for federal aid.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote. It took Matheson and her husband almost the whole day Monday to drive the 60 miles off the barrier island.

"If you ask a Guardsman, 'Why did you join the Guard, ?' they will tell you, 'This is why I do this, for my community", said McCarty. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12ft [of water]. That, folks, is extremely life-threatening".

Parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C. "It is an extremely risky, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said.

North and SC and Virginia ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

Maps of Florence's trajectory showed the center of the storm most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and killed 19 people in North Carolina. Many of those people were already on the road Tuesday.

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Virginia Tech sits at No. 13 in the nation after wins over Florida State and William and Mary. Computer models predict more than 3 feet of rain in the eastern part of North Carolina, a fertile low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks. "Storm surge watches are in effect in these areas - hurricane watches are in effect for coastal South Carolina, North Carolina".

This means catastrophic floods could follow if the hurricane stalls inland.

It likely goes without saying that hurricanes produce punishing, potentially deadly winds. While it may or may not officially become a Category 5 storm, it will still be a major Hurricane at landfall.

Half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and numerous hog farms are on the storm's path.

In little more than a day, Hurricane Florence exploded in strength, jumping from a Category 1 to a Category 4 behemoth with 225 kilometre per hour winds.

Southwest Airlines said travelers booked to fly from six cities from Baltimore to SC can rebook their flights within 14 days of their original dates with no additional cost.

Will Florence be upgraded to Category 5 hurricane?

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

By way of comparison, the maximum intensity of Hurricane Maria, the storm system which path of destruction left nearly 3,000 people dead in Puerto Rico, was 277.8 km/h, (150 knots), the NHC said. "One thing we do know is when you replace natural vegetation with parking lots and homes and impervious surfaces, you increase the runoff".

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.

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