UA hurricane experts weigh in as Hurricane Florence draws near

A storm surge prediction map

In its 5 p.m. advisory on Tuesday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said that the eye of Florence was located 580 km south-southwest of Bermuda and 1,260 km east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

People who thought they were safe from the onslaught of Hurricane Florence began boarding up and Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday as uncertainty over the path of the monster storm spread worry along the Southeastern coast.

Meteorologists are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches of rain expected in parts of SC.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C. However, it was projected Wednesday that Florence would shift slightly to the south and possibly hit Georgia as well. Florence has triggered more than 1 million evacuations and expectations of as much as US$27 billion (S$37 billion) in damages.

More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate along the North and SC coast as Hurricane Florence moves in. It looks like it will be North Carolina.

Mayor Joe Benson of Carolina Beach, a small town near Wilmington with a permanent population of about 6,300, said he believes half of the residents have stayed on the island. So as you can see, they're forecasting a major landfalling storm - Category 3 or 4 storm at landfall. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.

The National Hurricane Center says the waves were measured by satellite.

Crews also prepared 16 nuclear reactors in the three-state region for the storm. "If this blows at 120 mph for four hours, . you lose a shingle every two minutes, and all of the sudden, you've lost your whole roof after four hours", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

A year ago, Hurricane Irma had weakened to a tropical storm before hitting Middle Georgia, but hours of strong wind gusts wreaked havoc on some Macon neighborhoods before the weakening depression tracked through Columbus to Alabama. All lanes of Interstate 26 are westbound to allow more people to leave the coast and head inland toward the state capital of Columbia.

The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet (2.75 meters) of water in spots, projections showed. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland. "It's called Mother Nature, you never know, but we know", he also said in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday morning. The entire coastlines of North and SC, in addition to some parts of southeastern Virginia, are under a mandatory evacuation plan.

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