Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Here's what the DC region can expect from Hurricane Florence

Here's what the DC region can expect from Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence carries a heavy risk of flash floods as it brings up to 13-foot storm surge and a possible 40 inches of rain to the Carolina coast.

A now weakened Category 2 storm, Hurricane Florence still is expected to be "extremely dangerous" and a "life-threatening hurricane" the National Hurricane Center said.

President Donald Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, and 1.7 million people have been warned to leave. Technically this means Florence is no longer a "major" hurricane, and may not be when it reaches the North Carolina coast early on Friday morning.

A state of emergency has also been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

After maintaining Category 4 or 3 status most of Wednesday, Florence was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph churning about 205 miles southeast of Wilmington, according to a 5 a.m. briefing by the National Hurricane Center. "It's an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane".

There is also the potential for waterspouts and tornadoes in advance of, during and after Florence makes landfall. Only one storm scared them enough to leave the island. Storm surge is why many of you have been placed under evacuation and we are asking citizens to please heed a warning.

Instead of pushing directly towards states like West Virgina, Kentucky, or IN (following a generally northwest track from its initial landfall), Florence may now stall out on top of SC before moving west or southwest towards Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Currently, the hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles from the eye.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter. Sixty-one shelters have opened in SC - 12 of which are designated for special medical needs - able to now accommodate more than 31,000 people.

The storm's possible track now bends farther to the SW and closer to cities like Jacksonville, but it's the delay and the possible repeat of a Harvey-like storm cycle that has officials and weather forecasters anxious.

The storm's forward motion has slowed 11km/h since Wednesday (local time), which was predicted as the storm nears the coast.

You can also review the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's checklist for preparation. The ground is saturated with water and unlikely able to withstand the heavy, persistent rains that are expected. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriDennis Kernodle talks on the phone during storm preparations of his oceanfront home ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018. The surge won't be as bad as it potentially could have been, however, and the winds won't be as strong.

"We are completely ready for hurricane Florence, as the storm gets even larger and more powerful".

Early Thursday the Category 2 was about 205 miles (325 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 250 miles (405 kilometers) east southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Hurricane Florence, after weeks of warnings, has finally begun to touch down in the Carolinas on Thursday afternoon.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

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