'Monster' Florence to pummel USA southeast

14 Septembre, 2018, 17:15 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • NOAA  National Hurricane Center
Hurricane watches are posted for much of the South and North Carolina coasts and up to southern Virginia

Florence could be only the second Category 4 storm to pummel the Carolinas since 1800, when record-keeping began. "Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

Baxley said it "should be a personal decision" whether residents who chose to evacuate early should choose to return.

Announcing his evacuation order, SC governor Henry McMaster said an estimated one million people would be fleeing the coast.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 480km ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath of states from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.

To hasten evacuations from coastal SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from shore.

"Hurricane Florence has the potential to cause catastrophic flooding, especially in our coastal areas", Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said, activating the National Guard.

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different".

At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the northern Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered on Monday to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost of the state's barrier islands.

Florence is now at a Category 4 level, the second highest classification on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with winds now at 130 miles per hour (209 kilometers per hour).

North and SC residents all along the eastern Atlantic coast are evacuating ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Florence. For those not in the storm's direct path, officials are still warning about the residual high winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding.

"Inland flooding will be a major threat and something people far from the landfall location should be concerned about", CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

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Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. One North Carolina woman packed flowers to leave on her son's grave.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Prediction Center forecasts as much as 20 inches of rain, if not more, for parts of North Carolina. It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented.

"This is probably the only exercise I get this week", she quipped.

"With this storm, what's unique is it's forecast to stall. dropping copious amounts of rainfall across the Carolinas and into Virginia", Long said.

"This is a huge storm", said Robert Woodward, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

Florence is predicted to make an overnight landfall Friday west of Wilmington, NC.

The last time the U.S. capital declared a state of emergency was in January 2016 when a winter storm dubbed "Snowzilla" blanketed the capital and its region in knee-deep snow.

"A west- northwestward to northwestward motion with a slight increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days".

Isaac - which late Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season, but was later downgraded to a tropical storm - is heading west toward the Caribbean.

It said that maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts and that additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two.

The storm was about 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles - a region still recovering from last year's powerful Hurricane Maria.

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