'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Florence Closes In On US East Coast

Ismael LynchSep 12, 2018

Hurricane warnings have been issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) for portions of SC and North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, according to the agency's 5 p.m. update on September 11. Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that it would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". Yesterday officials in Beaufort County, home to Hilton Head Island, held a news conference and urged people to leave voluntarily.

It is predicted to stall even more off the coast of the Carolinas before scraping down the United States east coast and moving inland before the weekend. Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Tar Heel State on Friday.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper told locals not to "bet your life on riding out a monster", with ferocious winds set to batter the shoreline.

From North Myrtle Beach to Cape Fear, and Cape Lookout to the Ocracoke Inlet, water could rise 6 to 9 feet.

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast, is it time for a radical rethink on what it means to be prepared?

"An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft that was in the hurricane until just after midnight" recorded a peak wind gust of around 150 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center. It will continue to strengthen and likely upgrade to a category 4 by Tuesday.

With Hurricane Florence expected to make landfall near Wilmington as a Category 3, many coastal areas will likely be inundated by a storm surge, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Satellite images show the storm has maintained a distinct eye and is well organized.

Its maximum sustained winds were at 105 miles per hour.

Florence continued its west-northwest crawl toward the southeastern USA coast, packing maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. Notice how it doesn't move much between Thursday and Saturday in the track below.

Hurricane Isaac is holding steady in strength over the Atlantic. The D.C. region can expect a few inches of rain and coastal areas may experience minor flooding issues.

Florence is expected to dump 15 to 25 inches of rain, with isolated areas reaching 35 inches, across the Carolinas and into other mid-Atlantic states "late this week into early next week", the NHC said.

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