Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Hurricane Florence: 'We are planning for devastation'

Hurricane Florence: 'We are planning for devastation'

Another day closer to landfall and unfortunately no significant changes in the forecast for Hurricane Florence.

McMaster has already declared a state of emergency in SC and asked President Donald Trump for a federal declaration ahead of the storm, which intensified Monday to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 kph).

The storm was moving toward the west-northwest at about 9 miles per hour and was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda.

It's then forecast to close in on North or SC on Thursday local time, hitting a stretch of coastline that's vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change.

"You can have a lot more impact from a slow-moving storm that sits over you than one that moves on through", Barnes said. Salna predicts it could rise as high as 15 feet. "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny" Graham said. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12 feet (of water)". "When weather forecasters tell us 'life-threatening, ' we know that it is serious".

The governor of neighbouring North Carolina also ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County, while a state of emergency was declared in Virginia.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE", he tweeted.

High pressure to the north of the hurricane is steering it towards the North Carolina coastline.

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And Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same. Florence could be the worst hurricane to hit the Carolinas in over 60 years since category 4 hurricane "Hazel" struck in 1954.

To the north, most of Maryland is in the 4-10-inch range. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.

Duke staffers will be monitoring the sites and plan to inspect them after the storm moves out.

On Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center issues storm surge warnings for the areas around the Outer Banks in North Carolina and the South Santee River in SC.

Rainfall will be very heavy north of the storm.

Florence's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.

Expected to gather force later Tuesday, Florence may cause "life-threatening" storm surge in coastal parts of North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Tuesday. The compact storm was located 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Tuesday morning, with sustained winds of 70 mph.

A storm as big as Hurricane Florence will hit with a "one-two punch" deluge of water, Erik Salna, the associate director of the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University, says.

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