Science

Carolinas Brace for Extremely Dangerous Hurricane Florence

Carolinas Brace for Extremely Dangerous Hurricane Florence”

Forecasters say hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the center of Hurricane Florence, and tropical storm-force winds reach up to 150 miles (240 kilometers) from its eye. Shortly before 2 p.m., Alert Carolina released a statement noting that until further notice, classes and operations would run as scheduled at the University.

Storm surge and hurricane watches may be issued early Tuesday for portions of southeastern U.S. states, the NHC said.

The governor of Hawaii, David Ige, has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, the impacts of which will begin to be felt Tuesday night.

Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an evacuation order for SC as the area prepares for Hurricane Florence's possible landfall.

SC has ordered the mandatory evacuation of its entire coast, and evacuations were also ordered for several North Carolina towns, as Category 4 Hurricane Florence continues her aggressive pursuit towards the states.

National Weather Service officials in Honolulu urged residents to remain careful, noting that the difference between a Category 1 hurricane and a tropical storm is just 5 miles per hour wind speed.

There is a mandatory medical evacuation in place for hospitals, said Rep. Tim McGinnis in a Facebook post. Category 4 is one level below the most severe storm, and the center warned that Florence would remain an "extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night".

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic. "We know we can't play around with this", said Jennifer Oosterwyk, who owns the Sugar Britches boutique on Holden Beach and lives in nearby Wilmington.

Florence was about 575 miles south-southeast of Bermuda as of noon ET Monday, or about 1,230 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Moreover, high tides around noon and midnight these next few days will make the storm surges even worse, Samson said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has activated Texas Task Force 1, which is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, in response to hurricanes bearing down on the Eastern U.S. and Hawaii.

Hurricane Florence has slightly increased in speed as it heads toward the U.S. East Coast.

Some 7 million people, primarily in Florida, were asked to flee from Hurricane Irma last September, the largest mass evacuation in USA history, easily surpassing the 2.5 million who were ordered to evacuate during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Florence is forecast to make landfall in North Carolina late Thursday as a major hurricane and subject the region to high winds and heavy rain.

Florence is packing maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour, with higher gusts - and it's getting both larger and better-organized, the hurricane center said. Well-built homes can lose walls and roofs. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.

The storm is now around 400 miles south of Bermuda and is moving at 16 mph.

Andrew was the last Category 5 hurricane to hit the US, said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

Hurricanes Helene and Isaac are not expected to hit the United States mainland.

Florence became the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season last week but later weakened due to a zone of strong wind shear and cooler waters.



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