Tracking Hurricane Florence as it bears down on U.S. East Coast

Ismael LynchSep 13, 2018

But forecasters say there's an increased chance for tropical storm winds to reach Savannah. Maximum gusts were measured at 130 miles per hour. Authorities in Chatham County, Georgia, which borders SC and includes the historic port city of Savannah, urged residents who feel unsafe "to evacuate as they see fit".

The Miami-based NHC stressed, however, that while a slow weakening is expected over the next 24 hours "Florence is still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the USA coast late Thursday and Friday".

The overall trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down on the coast for a direct hit in a low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes. Before Tuesday, he'd been debating whether or not he would stay in the coastal area ahead of the storm, but ultimately made a decision to flee after receiving an automated emergency call at around 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

"Heed the warnings", Mr Byard said.

Cpl. Thomas Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said extra officers will be working for the storm. "This is not just a coastal event".

At least 461 schools across the state were either shut down or closing early on Thursday, according to local TV station WRAL, and many were being used as emergency shelters during the storm.

Sound unlikely? It's the same model that accurately predicted that last year's Hurricane Harvey, which also stalled over land, would drop 60 inches.

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going". "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12 feet (of water)". But authorities warned Florence has an enormous wind field that has been growing larger, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land and making Florence extremely risky.

"North Carolina, my message is clear", a grim Gov. Roy Cooper said at a briefing today.

The very center of that bullseye may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base, where authorities were opening emergency operation centers and staging equipment. We're fully prepared, food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready.

Residents are running out of time to evacuate before Hurricane Florence roars in to North and SC bringing potentially deadly flooding, officials warn.

North Carolina farms are moving livestock to safety.

"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.

Social media posts using hashtag #hurrication show folks doing an assortment of activities as winds got up to 140mph and barreled their way closer to the coast.

"Continued development along the East and Gulf coasts of the United States is likely to increase hurricane damage simply by increasing the amount of property that is exposed to damage", a 2016 Congressional Budget Office report said.

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