Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

New tool shows how storm surge could affect where you live

New tool shows how storm surge could affect where you live

The National Hurricane Center warned on Twitter that there may be a high risk of "storm surge at the coast and freshwater flooding from a prolonged heavy rainfall event inland".

"While any flooded vehicle is a disaster, we expect Florence to take relatively few in comparison to other hurricanes".

- Florence could make landfall early morning Friday between midnight and 5 a major hurricane - possibly a Category 4 or Category 3 storm.

The chief meteorologist for WCBD-TV in South Carolina, Rob Fowler, told the BBC that Florence was getting bigger, and those even 100 miles away would feel the impact.

Predictions that Florence will slow to a crawl and linger for days with its torrential downpours is raising the specter of Hurricane Harvey which hit Houston, Texas with what can only be described as "Biblical" rains previous year -50 inches or more. Some are calling the hurricane the "East Coast Harvey" as it is passing through warmer than usual waters, helping it grow.

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"With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding".

US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency on Tuesday for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" Trump tweeted, adding: "WE are here for you".

"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference on Tuesday.

McMaster yesterday said as many as a million people could leave the coast.

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The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

The first hurricane watches were issued for the SC and North Carolina coasts on Tuesday at 5 a.m.

Florence's storm surge threatens more than 750,000 homes in the region North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, according to the property analytics firm CoreLogic.

The first significant impact will be from the hurricane force winds.

All signs pointed to a stronger, slower, wider and wetter hurricane in the days ahead, forecasters said. With little wind shear to pull the storm apart, hurricane-strength winds have been expanding to 64 kilometres from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds 240 km from the centre. The watch "means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours", the Hurricane Center said.

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Meanwhile, there are two other storms in the vicinity - Isaac and Olivia have become tropical storms, with Isaac heading for the Caribbean and Olivia set to hit Hawaii early on Wednesday. Evacuation orders have also been issued. This includes cities in the path of Florence such as Wilmington and Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.

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