Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Insurers Brace for $20B in Catastrophic Losses From Hurricane Florence

Will Hurricane Florence Strengthen into a Rare Category 5 Storm Warnings Intensify as FEMA Says Florence "Will Be a Mike Tyson Punch to Carolina Coast"
Sandy Nunez | 15 September, 2018, 02:10

The path of Hurricane Florence could affect the homes of more than 5 million people, and more than 1 million of them have been ordered to evacuate.

"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said.

Motorists streamed inland on roads converted to one-way evacuation routes as about 1.7 million people in three USA states were warned to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a hair-raising storm taking dead aim at the Carolinas with 130mph winds and potentially ruinous rains.

FRIDAY: Widespread showers and thunderstorms.

On Wednesday morning, the president urged those in the path of Florence to "get out of its way".

A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington amid concern over potential torrential rain and flooding.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

Hurricane Florence has inundated U.S. coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and forecasters say conditions will only worsen as the hulking storm slogs inland.

The slow-moving storm could dump between 20 and 30 inches of rain in the Carolinas after making landfall, according to a report on Wednesday by risk modeler AIR Worldwide.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

Florence interrupted her stay on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

USA capital under state of emergency, evacuation ordered
UCF and North Carolina are looking at the feasibility of rescheduling for this season, but that remains highly unlikely. More than one million people living along the Carolina-Virginia coast are under mandatory evacuation orders.

For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters.

He added: "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen".

Evacuation orders for low-lying areas were issued Monday and continued Tuesday.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles. While computer models have shifted the forecast track for the storm noticeably to the south and west, it doesn't mean the D.C. region and other parts of the mid-Atlantic states are in the clear.

Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 metre).

To back up that point, Graham cited a sobering statistic: "50 percent of the fatalities in these tropical systems is the storm surge - and that's not just along the coast".

Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 13 feet (nearly 4 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Isaac will strike the islands of the Lesser Antilles, with Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique under a tropical storm warning.

With the storm expected to make landfall somewhere between SC and Virginia, AAA says the storm will "likely" have an impact on East Coast gas prices. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.