NHC warns of storm surges and heavy rain

11 September, 2018, 17:18 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Hurricane Florence as seen from the ISS on Monday morning

With sustained winds howling at almost 220km per hour, Florence was upgraded to a Category 4 by the National Hurricane Center yesterday, as the tempest churned about 965 kilometres southeast of Bermuda and headed toward the East Coast.

Hurricane Florence is blowing sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour as it barrels toward the US East Coast as a Category 4 storm.

In addition, the National Hurricane Center said that it will likely issue watches for "life-threatening storm surge" across three states.

The large and powerful hurricane has prompted evacuation orders in North and SC and Virginia, as officials urge residents in coastal and low-lying areas to prepare for strong winds, a deep storm surge and a deluge of rainfall that could last more than 24 hours.

Florence, the most powerful storm to menace the U.S. mainland this year, intensified into a Category 4 hurricane as it howled closer to the Carolinas on Monday (Sept 10), prompting evacuations of more than 1 million people to higher ground.

"Let me be clear: North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously and you should too", Mr Cooper said at a news conference.

"While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials".

The National Hurricane Center warned on Twitter that there may be a high risk of "storm surge at the coast and freshwater flooding from a prolonged heavy rainfall event inland".

Forecasters are also tracking two more hurricanes that have formed to the east of Florence: Hurricane Helene, which strengthened to a Category 2 storm off the west coast of Africa today, and Hurricane Isaac, a Category 1 storm now located roughly halfway between Florence and Helene.

Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas beginning on Tuesday morning.

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The evacuations in Virginia will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday for about 245,000 residents in part of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore area.

As astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) saw first-hand on Monday morning, hurricanes Isaac and Helene are trailing behind Florence, making for a trio of powerful storms. Florence was a Category 4 storm late afternoon Monday.

"After 48 hours, a slight increase in southwesterly shear could result in some weakening, but Florence is expected to remain an extremely unsafe hurricane when it approaches the USA coastline".

Florence has been classified as Category 4 storm with sustained winds of around 140mph (220km/h). Residents in certain areas of both states have been ordered to evacuate their homes. The hurricane is registering maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

US President Donald Trump has cancelled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.

Separately, Trump also declared a state of emergency for the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific as they prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut.

North and SC are expected to be hardest hit on Thursday, with evacuations ordered by South Carolina's governor Henry McMaster. "Everyone in Virginia needs to prepare".

"Life-threatening" hurricane and storm surges watches have been issued for huge swathes of the United States southeastern coast as Hurricane Florence barrels across the Atlantic Ocean.

We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit.

A third Atlantic storm, Hurricane Helene, is not expected to impact any land in the coming days as it moves north over open water.

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