Economy

These airlines are waiving fees before Hurricane Florence

These airlines are waiving fees before Hurricane Florence”

Federal forecasters expect the storm to make landfall on Friday with 130 mile-per-hour (215 kph) winds and massive waves, with rains taking a heavy toll inland.

Coastal areas are likely to experience storm surges and the hurricane may dump heavy rains across the entire mid-Atlantic region, causing risky floods.

Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said: "This storm is going to be a direct hit on our coast".

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Despite the storm being still some distance away from land, the National Hurricane Center has confirmed it is on track to hit the area around North and SC by Friday.

"You are talking about the entire ocean level rising up as a storm of this size makes landfall", Barnes said.

He added: "It's an extremely risky, life-threatening, historic hurricane. the forecast shows Florence stalling over North Carolina, bringing days and days of rain".

Most of the deaths from hurricanes in recent years have come from people who stay put and get caught in the ensuing floods, retired Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Lennon tells TIME.

Airlines, including American and Southwest, have started letting passengers change travel plans that take them into the hurricane's possible path.

The 29-year-old said he already went through 2011's Hurricane Irene, and cited flooding as the worst threat.

Hurricane Florence - the most powerful storm to threaten the Carolinas in almost three decades - is expected to strengthen, say forecasters. It took Matheson and her husband almost the whole day Monday to drive the 100km off the barrier island.

Greg Cook carries belongings to a van as he evacuates days before the arrival of Hurricane "Florence" at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 11, 2018.

Since then, the coastal population has grown by thousands of people. "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny" Graham said.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway - the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12ft [of water]".

"Get to a safe place now or by Thursday morning", he said. Ryan Moser, a spokesman for the North Carolina-based electricity company Duke Energy, said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive.



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