Friday, 21 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

Dramatic Change In Path Projected As Cat 4 Hurricane Florence Closes In On Coast FEMA said budget diverted to ICE will not impact response to Florence
Kristen Harrington | 14 September, 2018, 04:45

The hospital's president, Ronnie Sloan, said it is remaining open for "the same reason we got into health care". This implies that water, even more so than wind, is the most unsafe element of a major storm.

As the trough moves east, it will disrupt the winds that steer the hurricane, Stewart said.

Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said.

The storm has slowed considerably and was moving at 5 miles per hour toward the Port City.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances", the advisory said.

Wilmington, N.C., just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying.

The storm is now expected to make landfall in the lower Outer Banks of North Carolina early Friday morning or possibly stay in the ocean before making a shift to the left toward SC. By Sunday, Florence will have dissipated to a tropical storm, and by Monday morning it will be a tropical depression.

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"This general motion, accompanied by a gradual decrease in forward speed, is expected through today".

WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich told WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry that the shift of Florence means more rain for the Charlotte area. It may move a little north into Virginia or a little south into SC.

But the biggest danger could be life-threatening storm surges. Sustained winds slowed slightly to 125 miles per hour Tuesday afternoon, making it a Cat 3 storm. So to put the storm's size into focus, on Thursday morning, a tweet from South Carolina's Emergency Management Division brought this perspective on Florence's sheer size: It's "larger than SC and North Carolina combined".

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

Long said the danger was not only along the coast.

Nighttime winds have gone from 140mph (225kph) to 115mph (185kph), and further weakening is expected as Florence approaches the coast. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

Whenever a hurricane tumbles toward landfall, the emphasis tends to be on wind forces.

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When flight operations can resume will depend on how long Florence sticks around, and forecasters predict it could sit and drench areas of the Carolinas with a deluge of rainwater over a couple of days.

"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence. "It's something we haven't seen. ever".

"You put your life at risk by staying", Cooper said. Flash flooding is going to be a big issue soon - certainly catastrophic.

Hurricane Helene is moving north, where it's expected to become a tropical storm Thursday. Florence's size is "chilling, even from space" As he posted awe-inspiring shots of Hurricane Florence, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency wrote that staring down "the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane" is "chilling, even from space". "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins".

The impact of Florence will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, unsafe surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center briefing said. It's possible that a storm surge between one and three feet may impact coastal Chesapeake Bay areas.

In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged them to stay in safer locations despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state.

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