USA and Caribbean brace for arrival of Hurricane Florence

  • USA and Caribbean brace for arrival of Hurricane Florence

USA and Caribbean brace for arrival of Hurricane Florence

A mandatory evacuation will start at noon Tuesday for eight coastal counties, McMaster said in a press conference Monday afternoon. That storm killed as many as 3,000 people and left the entire island without power for weeks and in some locations months.

If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky weather across a wide area.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's office predicted "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages", cautioning that the deadliest risk would come from flooding. "So, that high pressure is now driving Florence toward the East Coast", he said.

"Florence is quickly becoming a powerful hurricane", a hurricane specialist wrote.

"We want to make sure that we get the best data going to the National Hurricane Center. and to emergency managers and to the media so we can get people out of the way", Flaherty said.

By noon on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130mph.

As of 12pm EST, the storm was centered approximately 1,230 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina.

The most recent Category 4 storm to hit the US was Hurricane Maria a year ago, which plowed into eastern Puerto Rico with winds of 155 miles per hour.

Two other storms are spinning in the Atlantic.

"The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", the hurricane center said.

The track of Hurricane Florence, which intensified into a Category 4 storm on Monday, remains uncertain.

States of emergency have been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia in preparation for Florence's arrival. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

NOAA's latest "probable" models see the center of the storm at the North Carolina coast at 2 a.m. EDT Friday and in central North Carolina at 2 a.m. Saturday. Eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and US 501 heading into Myrtle Beach will be reversed when the order takes effect.

Several meteorologists said Florence could do what Hurricane Harvey did over Texas, dumping days of rain, although not quite as bad.

"But I'm staying", she said.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said an estimated 1 million people would be fleeing his state's coast, with eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and USA 501 heading into Myrtle Beach reversed to ease the exodus.

A category 3 hurricane has winds of 96 to 112 miles per hour, the NHC said.

"Also, most storms coming into the Carolinas tend to move northward, and this storm looks like it's going to stall over the region and potentially bring tremendous, life-threatening flooding", AccuWeather Vice President of Forecasting and Graphics Operations Marshall Moss said.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, but cooler water and higher wind shear - winds moving at different speeds and directions - early in the season are less than ideal for tropical systems to gain and maintain strength.

Jim Craig, David Burke and Chris Rayner load generators as people buy supplies at The Home Depot on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Wilmington, N.C.