Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head

Ismael LynchSep 14, 2018

The effects of Hurricane Florence have already arrived on the East Coast of the United States, where massive floods have already begun and as much asthe National Hurricane Center forecasts 40 inches of rain and 11 feet of flooding from the storm surge.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", Parker said. Rivers are expected to burst their banks.Some 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"Heavy rain has been occurring in and around Oriental, North Carolina, where 20.37 inches of rainfall has been measured thus far", the National Hurricane Center said in an update.

Florence will dump 40 inches (101.6 cm) of rain in some parts of the Carolina coast, forecasters said. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the Hurricane Center said. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did. Georgia, where governor Nathan Deal has now declared an emergency, is also thought to be in the firing line.

The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning.

At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located by NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft data and surface observations 50 miles southwest of Dominica.

A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. More are expected, as the storm could bring winds up to 45 miles per hour around the area, according to Durham County emergency management officials. The storm is massive and was a Category 4 hurricane at its worst that will devastate anything it encounters. However, the surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves, regardless of when the storm arrives.

Some local shelters are ready to help take in animals left homeless by the storm, which was projected to make landfall on the Carolina coast Saturday morning.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. Tropical Storm Olivia made a double landfall in Hawaii Wednesday morning, first in west Maui then Lanai, KHNL reports. It is expected that the hurricane moves on or near the coastline during the night of Thursday through Friday.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

These types of slow-moving storms - like Hurricane Harvey - can be particularly risky because of the rain and flooding they can bring.

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