Wednesday, 24 July, 2019

Watch South Carolina beach BATTERED by winds as storm looms

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Sandy Nunez | 13 September, 2018, 22:02

The problem is, Flo is now expected to stall out over the Carolinas before slowly moving inland.

PHOTO: People and pets evacuate ahead of the forecasted landfall of Hurricane Florence and seek shelter at Burgaw Middle School in Burgaw, N.C., on September 2018. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kmh).

About 300,000 people have been evacuated from South Carolina, McMaster said.

As of 10am Thursday (local time), Florence's top winds were 177km/h, and it was marching northwest at16km/h, about 257km east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 329km east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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But despite the drop in wind strength, the most unsafe threat comes from Florence's rains and storm surge, which could bring flooding far inland.

Tropical Storm Isaac was east of the Lesser Antilles and expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land. Florence has weakened a bit over 24 hours, but it's also grown even larger - and it will likely dump torrential rain over North and SC through Monday. "And this is where I want to stay", Cook said. It's expected to move slowly over eastern SC on Friday night through Saturday night.

"Even after Hurricane Florence makes landfall, it's still forecast to just crawl west over SC, gradually weakening to a tropical storm", said FOX 46 Meteorologist Tara Lane. The slow forward motion means Florence will batter the area with heavy rainfall, producing up to 40 inches in coastal North Carolina and northeastern SC. The typhoon is expected to make landfall in the Philippines Saturday before barreling toward China, Vietnam and Laos.

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"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the briefing said.

The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide. We only need to remember that tropical storm Irene was not a hurricane when it created tremendous damage to homes and covered bridges in Vermont in 2011. The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour earlier in the week but North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against complacency because of the drop.

It's unclear exactly how many people fled ahead of the storm, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

Airlines canceled about 1,200 flights and counting, and some airports in the Carolinas virtually shut down.

People across the region rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies, board up their homes, pull their boats out of the water and get out of town.

Tropical storm force winds extend up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the center. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks. Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages.

The other threat for those living along the coast is the wall of water known as storm surge that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore.