United States southeast braces for 'days and days' of floods from Florence

United States southeast braces for 'days and days' of floods from Florence

According to the National Hurricane Center and NOAA, "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".

South Carolina Walker Townsend, at right, from the Isle of Palms, S.C., fills a sand bag while Dalton Trout, in center, holds the bag at the Isle of Palms municipal lot where the city was giving away free sand in preparation for Hurricane Florence at the Isle of Palms S.C., September 10, 2018.

A third Atlantic storm, Hurricane Helene, is not expected to impact any land in the coming days as it moves north over open water.

Watches in effect Tuesday forecast a storm surge of up to 12 feet at high tide from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

He added islands to the south such as Barbados and St Lucia are expected to experience some wind from the storm.

Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the region of the Carolinas and Virginia late Thursday or early Friday.

Hurricane Florence remains a strong Category 4 hurricane Tuesday morning with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.

A fleet of federal hurricane hunting craft - including planes and personnel from NASA, the Air Force, and NOAA - take flights directly through hurricanes to give storm forecasters an improved idea of what's churning inside the storm, and what might happen next.

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South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline evacuated starting at noon Tuesday and predicted that 1 million people would flee as highways reverse directions. It is passing several hundred miles south of Bermuda (now less than 1,000 miles from coastal North Carolina) and appears to be headed for an eventual landfall in southern sections of North Carolina later this week.

In neighboring Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan said his state was readying for potentially "historic and catastrophic rainfall, life-threatening flooding, and high winds". Eastern on Tuesday, Hurricane Florence was between 200-250 miles wide, according to Doug Anderson with the National Weather Service office in Columbia, South Carolina.

Over the last 24 hours, Gov. Roy Cooper and Gov. Henry McMaster declared states of emergency for their respective states ahead of Florence.

Once Florence makes landfall, it'll be the first major Atlantic hurricane of the 2018 season to hit the mainland US.

"All indications are that the storm will slow down and just crawl or meander over the inland sections and the coastal Piedmont", Weather Channel hurricane expert Bryan Norcross said.

"It's important not to focus on the center line of the hurricane when you look at forecasts", Anderson told The State.

Liz Browning Fox was planning to ride out the storm nevertheless on the Outer Banks. Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive.

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