Science

‘Not a pretty sight’: Hurricane Florence has experts anxious

‘Not a pretty sight’: Hurricane Florence has experts anxious”

Losses from Florence could be on par with those from two previous storms: Hurricane Hazel, which ravaged North Carolina in 1954, causing $15 billion in losses, and Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which caused $20 billion, according to a report from risk modeling firm RMS on Tuesday.

Florence weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm on a five-step scale but had maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour) as of 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), down from 130 mph earlier in the day.

The hurricane could also produce heavy and excessive rainfall - up to 40 inches in isolated areas in the Carolinas and anywhere between 6 to 12 inches elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic region. The entire coastlines of North and SC, in addition to some parts of southeastern Virginia, are under a mandatory evacuation plan.

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you". Residents in some parts of the Carolinas have been ordered to evacuate.

News that the storm could plow through SC after landfall came shortly after McMaster lifted his mandatory-evacuation order for Beaufort County and many other areas south of Charleston.

The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Up to 1.7 million people are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and coastal residents were frantically boarding up homes and businesses and hitting the road on Wednesday as the storm approached. "People who live in New Bern have experienced hurricanes before, but it has been a long time since we have experienced something like this". Tropical Storm Olivia is expected to move over Hawaii Wednesday or Thursday, KHNL reported. "He lives in North Carolina".

It had been projected to shift north after making landfall.

Even with some weakening that is predicted just before it makes landfall, the storm "is expected to remain a risky major hurricane as it approaches the coastline", the hurricane center said.

"Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence is setting out to be a devastating event to the Carolinas, and potentially Virginia as well".

Florence is predicted to turn more toward the northwest through Thursday - but then is expected to head more west-northwest and stall a bit over the Carolinas.

Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

If some of the computer projections hold, "it's going to come roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say, 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland, '" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground forecasting service.

President Trump says the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders are poised to help - but he also warned people to get out of the storm's path.



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