Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

North Carolina faces Hurricane Florence the only way we know how…with memes

North Carolina faces Hurricane Florence the only way we know how…with memes

With Hurricane Florence downgraded on Thursday from a Category Four to a Category Two storm, around fifty people left the evacuation shelter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The storm's first casualties, which included a mother and her baby killed when a tree fell on their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina, were announced about eight hours after Florence came ashore.

Rivers are expected to burst their banks.Some 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Small rooms around the main hub and down winding hallways in the center housed officials covering all aspects of the response - sheltering and feeding the displaced, tracking the storm and its potential destruction, search-and-rescue. Reuters news agency reports.

It was forecast to make landfall mid-day Friday near Cape Fear, North Carolina, bringing up to 40 inches (1 meter) of rain, and storm surges as high as 13 feet (4 meters), the NHC said.

The National Hurricane Center says "a life-threatening storm surge is now likely" along the North and SC coasts as Hurricane Florence approaches the USA eastern seaboard.

Why isn't the downgraded storm less of a threat?

It had long lines on Thursday.

Floodwaters may rise up to 13ft (4m) as rivers see their flows "reversed", meteorologists have warned.

A very slow or meandering movement of Florence will translate to long-duration high winds, storm surge and demolishing wave action.

Nationwide more than 1,000 flights were cancelled as Florence is expected to hover over the Carolinas, bringing near non-stop rain for days. He asked citizens in danger zones to heed warnings because "your time is running out".

Flooding and a strong storm surge has prompted more than 90 calls to the emergency operation center in Craven County, N.C., for residents trapped in vehicles and homes, according to spokeswoman Amber Parker. "I can not emphasise that enough". Roberts said numerous residents live near the Neuse and Trent rivers.

What's the situation on the ground?

As Hurricane Florence approaches, Waffle House activates ‘storm center’
When a storm strikes, local officials will put out a call to the nearest Waffle House and find out what's on the menu. The sooner restaurants, grocery stores, and banks re-open - the sooner the local economy and recovery restart.

"A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion Friday night and Saturday", the NHC said.

Parts of the Carolina coast are expecting 20-30 (50-75cm) inches of rain, with isolated regions seeing up to 40in of downpour.

Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia. Duke Energy, a local power company, estimated that up to three million customers could lose their supply as a result of Florence. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged people to take the storm seriously.

Emergency workers are arriving from other parts of the U.S. to aid in rescues.

"If anybody could help. our cars is under water and so is our house".

Is global warming to blame?

"In particular, the air temperature, specific humidity, and sea surface temperature from the observed [real world] conditions are modified to remove climate change effect", they wrote in the new paper.

Warmer seas power hurricanes.

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

A hotter atmosphere can also hold more water, so this should allow hurricanes to dump more water on affected areas.

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