Hurricane Florence: Mapping the thousands of animal waste lagoons, nuclear sites threatened

Hurricane Florence: Mapping the thousands of animal waste lagoons, nuclear sites threatened

Hurricane Florence: Mapping the thousands of animal waste lagoons, nuclear sites threatened

Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Florence's forward motion had slowed overnight and it was not expected to make landfall in the Carolinas until "sometime Friday afternoon, Friday evening or Saturday morning".

Pablo Santos, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told VOA that when the center of Florence comes ashore and shifts north as expected, it will still be "catastrophic" due tin a large extent to the storm surge.

For a Category 2 storm, that means sustained winds of 154-177 km/h (96-110 mph).

Up to 40 inches of rain could fall in North Carolina. The surge won't be as bad as it potentially could have been, however, and the winds won't be as strong. This storm surge can be deadly and then the flooding that will come thereafter with rain being measured in feet instead of inches.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence drenched the Carolinas on Thursday, flooding roads, gorging rivers and knocking out power in an ominous glimpse of the damage the storm could inflict when it makes landfall on Friday with millions of people in its path. Florence, though downgraded to a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, remained risky and unpredictable, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

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FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.

Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles from Florence's centre, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles.

Hurricane Florence continues to snarl travel in the Southeast as it closes in on the Carolinas, affecting more than a dozen transportation hubs there and in other parts of the region.

With Florence moving slowly and stalling, the storm surge is going to be a bigger, longer-term factor than normal because the water "just keeps piling up", Needham said.

"These bays, these rivers and these inlets, there's so much storm surge the water is being literally forced to flow the opposite direction", Graham said. Florence's center will approach the North and SC coasts late Thursday and Friday.

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Luettich and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and University of Texas spent 30 years developing ADCRIC, a computer model that gauges storm surge and other impacts of major coastal weather events. It could take several weeks to restore electricity.

Florence is the most risky of three tropical systems now in the Atlantic. The forecasters say the slow speed will give Florence time to pound the Carolinas with bands of heavy rain.

But despite the drop in wind strength, the most risky threat comes from Florence's rains and storm surge, which could bring flooding far inland. The area will suffer far beyond the immediate effects expected.

"This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

There are fears that this storm could cause damage similar to what Houston suffered during Hurricane Harvey previous year, when homes and businesses were inundated with floodwater. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations. On Wednesday, officials said some of those shelters were at capacity, but in a statement early Thursday, county officials said they were "able to mobilize additional resources to accommodate the need for shelter space".

That was a bad idea, said Avair Vereen, a local nurse who had sought safety in the shelter with her seven children.

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The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 miles per hour with winds that have decreased significantly to 100 miles per hour . The effects of Hurricane Florence can already be felt along the coast of North Carolina as of 12 p.m. on September 13.

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