Carolinas Continue to Prep for Hurricane Florence

The clouds within the red square are the outer bands of Hurricane Helene

The clouds within the red square are the outer bands of Hurricane

Once Florence makes landfall we'll have a better idea in Virginia what we'll be dealing with. "Now's the time to prepare".

Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 3 storm, is closing in on the Southeast, bringing threatening winds, a high storm surge and tons of rain. "This rainfall could produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding".

In May, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said its forecasters were expecting a "near-normal to above-normal" number of storms this season, a prediction that has proven to be correct - so far.

Motorists streamed inland on highways converted to one-way evacuation routes Tuesday as about 1.7 million people in three states were warned to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a hair-raising storm taking dead aim at the Carolinas with 140 miles per hour (225 kph) winds and potentially ruinous rains.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf.

Trojniar said she and her husband were packing up belongings and plan to stack sandbags around their single-floor home in Wilmington's eerily named Landfall neighbourhood near the ocean before checking into a hotel to ride out the storm, with plenty of wine.

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Experts predict the storm will likely hit the center of the state on Thursday or early Friday and then move its way inland toward Raleigh, bringing tropical storm force winds and up to 12 inches of rain in some inland counties.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered as many as one million coastal residents to leave their homes ahead of the storm's projected arrival on Thursday.

Like his neighbors, Kingstree, S.C. farmer Atwood McIntosh is praying and preparing as Hurricane Florence approaches. "We don't know exactly where the center will go, but it's not really relevant".

In the Pacific, Olivia became a tropical storm again on a path to hit Hawaiian islands early on Wednesday. "The ground is already saturated and any winds could put down some trees and pose a problem".

He said the federal government is ready to respond to the Category 4 storm.

The new computer model's resolution is "one of the highest yet achieved" for a global climate model that captures the entire Earth and both its atmosphere and oceans, said Emanuel in an email. "It's weakened, but unfortunately, the eye has expanded out to a diameter now of about 30-35 nautical miles". For example, the weakest Category 5 storm would be 24 miles per hour stronger than the weakest Category 4.

Extremely unsafe Hurricane Florence hits Category 4 as it churns toward Carolinas
With torrential rains in the Appalachian mountains, that water could easily cause flash floods. Florence is now moving west at around 13 miles per hour.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and this area of the ocean is seeing temperatures peak near 30C, hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

Communities in Florence's path could lose electricity for weeks due to downed power lines and flooded equipment, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said.

Freight haulers need to be prepared for many washed out roadways and damage to rail infrastructure across this multi-state area.

Florence, has regained Category 4 strength as of midday Monday, based on aircraft reports, and may reach Category 5 status as it tracks toward the U.S. Tropical Storm Isaac is heading westward toward the central Lesser Antilles, but is a bit weaker, with Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica now under tropical storm, not hurricane, warnings.

Hurricane Florence has the potential to cause "massive damage" to parts of the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States - and not just in the coastal areas where the storm aims to make landfall Friday morning, officials warned.

"Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence".

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