Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Time almost up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast - Story | WFLD

Time almost up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast - Story | WFLD

It's unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

Police patrol past boarded up shops along the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence's arrival.

Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from a lethal blow by Maria last year, could see some rain and gusty wind, but nothing close to last year. Only one storm scared them enough to leave the island.

The mayor of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said authorities have stopped allowing traffic to the island via the only bridge between the island and the mainland. They also have three dogs and three parrots.

FlightAware expects the number of cancellations to rise, although "the limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a statement. Surges as high as 9-to-13 feet are now forecast from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout.

"But that's not going to be until Monday", Eliasen said". "Flooding is nearly guaranteed".

Hurricane Florence weakened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved towards east coast of the United States, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, but a life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall were still expected.

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As of Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence has weakened to 110 miles per hour as it contends with slightly increased wind shear and drier air.

Florence could bring wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (4 meters) and NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook they could push in as far as 2 miles (3 km).

North Carolina has had this problem before. Florence could bring life-threatening storm surges, up to 13 feet. This implies that water, even more so than wind, is the most unsafe element of a major storm. When and where it will make landfall is unclear.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina, and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.

As Florence closed in, some residents weighed whether to ride it out. "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins". The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

"We're a good community up there". So we're going to have delayed impacts from this even after landfall on Friday. "Time is Running Out".

Browning's choice to stay in the hurricane warning zone wasn't easy, she said, but she "could not find anywhere to go".

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"But I'm staying", she said.

There was also concern over crops.

Rain projections also increased, with some locations along the North Carolina coast now expected to get up to 40 inches.

More than 421,000 South Carolinians have already evacuated from the coast, McMaster said. Thousands have taken refuge in emergency shelters, officials said.

The contraflow will end Thursday at noon on 501 and at 6 p.m. on I-26.

"It doesn't matter where you are", he said.

As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

Hurricane Florence's uncertain track sows fear; 10 million in crosshairs
Depending on how much water was pushed ashore and the area's watershed, it may hang around, causing further damage to communities. The majority of the storm surge and rainfall issues are expected to remain for southeast North Carolina down into Charleston.

Georgia joined North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland in issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain - potentially 10 trillion gallons - on the southern states. It urged residents to heed evacuation orders.

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