Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

Florence’s quiet potential disaster: Hog manure Time nearly up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast - Story | WFLD
Sandy Nunez | 14 September, 2018, 12:52

Hurricane-force winds began whipping North Carolina as federal emergency management officials warned that the hurricane remained a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast.

At least 150,000 people were without power in North Carolina early on Friday with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to utility companies.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 metres) high as Florence churned toward shore.

The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather.

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water.

Florence could bring wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as four metres and NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook they could push in as far as three kilometres.

The southern portion of the Virginia coast is under a tropical storm warning - from north of Duck, North Carolina, to Cape Charles Light, Virginia, and the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

In the tiny community of Sea Breeze near Wilmington, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptized because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" later.

No Hurricane Florence evacuation orders for Jasper, Beaufort
The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore. The Ridgeland Fire Department urges residents in areas that typically flood to leave for higher ground.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face".

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

"But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".

After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting two trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

The storm, which is expected to be one of the biggest to ever hit North Carolina, South Carolina and parts of Virginia, should be making landfall sometime this weekend.

Despite pleas from officials, some residents ignored calls to evacuate.

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.