The east coastal areas have been waiting in apprehension for days as Hurricane Florence was expected to make landfall as a Category 4 or 5, with potential winds up to 150 mph. According to Brian McNoldy, a University of Miami atmospheric scientist “North Carolina has never experienced a Category 4 or 5 hurricane landfall.”
Hurricane Florence has recently downgrade to a Category 2, but experts are warning that residents of the Carolinas and Virginia should still be prepared. Fox News has said “Hurricane Florence’s potentially devastating winds and rain could be like “a Mike Tyson punch” when the storm slams into the Carolina coast later this week.”
According to CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers, what makes Hurricane Florence extremely dangerous are the deadly storm surges, mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall expected far inland. "I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1," said Chad Myers. "We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge."
CNN also reported that Hurricane Florence is expected to hover over the Carolinas, delivering Category 2 hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.
By the time it leaves, it's expected to have unloaded 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said. That's enough to fill more than 15 million Olympic-size swimming pools. Reports CNN.
As previously reported, the National Hurricane Center is stating that the worst impacts felt by the storm are going to be coastal areas that could be affected by storm surges, literal walls of water that rush onshore to create dangerous flooding.
The Hurricane Center has issued the following informational key points related to the storm:
- A life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and a Storm Surge Watch will likely be issued for some of these areas by Tuesday morning. All interests from South Carolina into the mid- Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials.
- Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.
- Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Watch will likely be issued by Tuesday morning. Damaging winds could also spread well inland into portions of the Carolinas and Virginia.
- Large swells affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Category: Hurricane Florence is now a Category 2 with maximum winds speeds of about 110 mph.
Location: Hurricane Florence is now about 200 miles east-southeast of Wilmington North Carolina and is moving at about 17 mph.
Trajectory: Hurricane Florence will reach the North and South Carolina coastal areas late Thursday. As the storm moves inland, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland will also be affected.
Storm surge: Hurricane Florence will cause strong winds and send water / storm surges that will increase the water levels up to 13 feet.
Flights: Approximately 800 flights along the US East Coast have been canceled Thursday through Saturday.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling