The force of Hurricane Florence | Register

Jim Craig David Burke and Chris Rayner load generators as people buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington N.C

Jim Craig David Burke and Chris Rayner load generators as people buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington N.C

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. Combined with high tides, the storm surge could swell as high as 12 feet. "People know I try to get to the worst of the weather".

The latest NOAA model for the storm adds a new layer of concern for people in the Carolinas, where Florence seems likely to hit at this point. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime".

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland.

Officials are anxious that the downpours caused by the hurricane could result in heavy flooding, like that seen after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017.

Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 hurricane poised to strengthen over the next 24 hours, is expected to make landfall somewhere between North and SC by late Thursday.

At 8 a.m., Florence had top sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph) and was centred 530 miles (855 kilometres) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, approaching the coast at 17 mph (28 kph). "It is an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said.

"Where else can we go?" she said.

"The power will be off for weeks", Long said. She said her house, built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, is on a ridge and built to withstand a hurricane.

Ahead of Florence's arrival, barrier islands were already seeing unsafe rip currents and seawater flowed over a state highway - the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

Early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Florence was less than 600 miles away from the North Carolina coast moving quickly to the west/northwest at nearly 20 mph.

Meanwhile, the projections for rain are growing, adding to growing concerns about flooding across the two states: Coastal North Carolina now expects 20 to 30 inches, with isolated areas of 40 inches projected in SC. "The school's closed until Friday, so there's no reason to stay, really".

Michael Kennedy, an engineer at Boeing, said he planned to leave on Tuesday for his parents' home in Atlanta, Georgia. Allison Jones said she's not taking any chances. "The preparations for a hurricane began long before the past few hours or days".

Charleston, resident William Belli said he would not be among those joining the exodus. "Not anxious in the least". Roberts said he's telling them to get out of town.

"It follows me around", Cantore said Tuesday.

Similar evacuations are happening all the way up to Virginia, where the governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of some low-lying coastal areas.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

"We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan)".

Fort AP Hill and Fort Bragg were selected as FEMA Incident Support and Federal Staging Area to assist in the response, the army said. NC State's campus will also close on Thursday and Friday.

"It looks like it will be North Carolina".

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