Hog Farmers Scramble to Drain Waste Pools Ahead Of Hurricane Florence

Jan Cross
September 14, 2018

"None of the guidance suggest that Florence has peaked in intensity, " the Hurricane Center said, predicting that its peak winds will reach 155 miles per hour Tuesday, just 2 miles per hour shy of Category 5.

"Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday (Sept. 13)", said officials. The governors of both states declared states of emergency. Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same.

Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an evacuation order for SC as the area prepares for Hurricane Florence's possible landfall. Outer bands from the hurricane were lashing land on Thursday, at least a full day before the National Hurricane Center expects the slow-moving storm's eye to blow ashore around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

A hurricane's numerical classification tends to dominate the headlines, but it tells only part of the story - it rates a storm's wind speeds - and not necessarily the most life-threatening part. Although Olivia is expected to move over the islands as a tropical storm, it could still bring worse impacts than recent Hurricane Lane to some areas, the center said.

Meanwhile, two other storms were also spinning in the Atlantic.

That means the hurricane will be dumping rain over multiple East Coast states, and it's not just a coastal problem.

Storm surge could be as high as 6 to 12 feet from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout on North Carolina's southeast coast.

Long-duration hurricane-force winds of 74 miles per hour or higher could cause tremendous damage and widespread power outages.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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The storm was heading for the coast of North and SC but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

Early on Monday Isaac, which the NHC called a small hurricane, was about 1,900km east of the Windward Islands - a region still recovering from 2017's powerful Hurricane Maria - with maximum sustained winds near 120km/h. "Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed".

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said an estimated 1 million people would be fleeing his state's coast, with eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and US 501 heading into Myrtle Beach reversed to ease the exodus. "Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes".

The auto park has been full for three days at the Ace Hardware store in coastal Calabash, North Carolina, where manager Tom Roberts said he sold 150 gas cans in two hours Monday, along with generators, plywood, rope, manual can openers, sand bags and a plethora of other items.

"Team South Carolina is moving into position.to facilitate the evacuation, but are also positioning to do post-storm activities", said Maj. Hurricane-to-tropical-storm-force winds could extend inland, depending on the storm's track.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard said, warning of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life.

"The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", U.S. Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake wrote in a forecast analysis.

Florence became the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season last week but later weakened due to a zone of strong wind shear and cooler waters.

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