Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

'Monster' storm: Hurricane Florence is a rare threat in an unusual location

NASA shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean seen from the International Space Station, in space on Sept. 10 2018 Here's what the DC region can expect from Hurricane Florence
Sandy Nunez | 13 September, 2018, 12:53

Its maximum sustained winds slackened slightly to 125 mph, qualifying it as a Category 3 storm, but its wind field has grown, with hurricane-force winds extending out 70 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds stretching as far as 175 miles from the storm's center. Officials didn't reveal exactly which institutions would be evacuated due to security concerns, but said evacuated prisoners would get a free phone call to notify loved ones. Spokesman Howard Fowler said restoration could take "weeks instead of days", even though 20,000 workers, including crews from outside the area, were standing by. Executives in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

Governor Cooper warned that North Carolina is on the "wrong side of the storm", and poses a serious threat despite being downgraded to a Category 3 storm on Wednesday.

Myrtle Beach police will have all hands on deck for Hurricane Florence. A storm is classified Category 3 if its winds are recorded at 111 miles per hour or more. More than 2,000 Florida utility workers were also sent to help restore power after the storm hits.

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"Be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas", Mr Deal said in a statement.

Forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.

The governor wants to avoid a repeat of Hurricane Matthew two years ago, which killed 26 North Carolinians. "It's going to happen". For example, the seas off of Wilmington, North Carolina have risen 7.5 inches since 1935, according to NOAA. "We just need to figure out how to make it through". Yesterday officials in Beaufort County, home to Hilton Head Island, held a news conference and urged people to leave voluntarily. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together".