Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have begun to impact the coast of North Carolina. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the National Hurricane Center said.

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). Don't get complacent. Stay on guard. Evacuation orders are in place in the Carolinas and Virginia, and Georgia is in a state of emergency.

The police chief says he's not going to put his people in harm's way, especially for people they've already told to evacuate. The center is slowing down and is expected to stall and perhaps wander around just offshore on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"Florence was anticipated to make a steady, assured progress directly towards the Carolinas, make landfall, and move directly inland".

Flights were grounded along the coast of the Carolinas Friday as Hurricane Florence moved ashore, though it appeared that the storm might not deliver as devastating a blow to national airline schedules as first feared.

Florence's hurricane-force winds were blowing 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached up to 195 miles (315 kilometers) from the eye.

Once a powerful Category 4 storm, Florence became a slow-moving Category 1 before it made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina, on Friday.

The mayor of Myrtle Beach says her city has done as much as it can to prepare for Hurricane Florence. It's expected to bring tropical storm conditions and up to 5 inches of rain across the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico.

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"Data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft along with satellite imagery and various intensity estimates indicate that Florence has weakened instead of strengthening".

Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the storm with his dog Canelo. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

The storm is expected to slowly move into North and SC on Thursday, and conditions are expected to get worse.

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina.

According to NHC: "A Storm Surge 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".

Steering currents - around clear-weather high-pressure systems and stormy low-pressure systems - redirect hurricanes, with the clear-weather systems acting as walls that storms have to go around.

Early Thursday Florence was about 235 miles (378 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 280 miles (450 kilometers) east southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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