Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Florence to approach the Carolinas coast later Thursday: NHC

Florence to approach the Carolinas coast later Thursday: NHC

Florence about to make landfall in N. Carolina causing life-threatening storm surge. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical storm force winds up to 195 miles. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

With storm surges of up to 11 feet predicted as Hurricane Florence strikes the Carolinas Friday, The Weather Channel created this sobering simulation with graphics that shows how unsafe that is - by putting their meteorologists into the virtual world.

The Verge says the Weather Channel has partnered with augmented reality company The Future Group to create the videos, which use the Unreal Engine, a video game development platform seen in many popular games today. "This will cause extremely unsafe flooding", the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

And about 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported.

With recent official reports finding that last year's Hurricane Maria claimed almost 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico-an assertion that re-emerged onto the national spotlight Thursday after President Donald Trump, without providing evidence, alleged that those estimates were artificially inflated and politically motivated-it's worth exploring what it is that ultimately kills people, including the most vulnerable, when a hurricane strikes.

Storm surge isn't the only worry associated with the storm, either.

The city warns that people "may need to move up to the second story" but tells them to stay put as "we are coming to get you".

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The National Hurricane Center says the eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast.

Florence is about 644 kilometres wide and it's winds have dropped from a peak of 225 km/h to 165 km/h, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a Category 2.

The NHC's latest statement warned a combination of a unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas to be flooded, with water levels expected to reach between 7 and 11 feet between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout in North Carolina, and higher in the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay Rivers.

President Donald Trump has said protecting lives is his "absolute highest priority" and that the White House is standing by to offer affected states whatever help they ask for.

After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina announced an evacuation of the Outer Banks, a popular tourist destination.

Weather Forecasters have said that the size of the storm means it will batter the East Coast for a full day.

Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

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