The east coast of the U.S. is bracing for a Hurricane Florence, a category four storm that is predicted to be life threatening. In addition to the 140 mph winds, Florence is expected to bring exceptionally heavy rainfall, up to 20 inches, as it stalls over South Carolina after making landfall on Thursday night. Widespread flooding is expected with potential storm surges of up to 13ft on the coasts.
States of emergency have been declared and approximately one million residents have been told to evacuate their homes in North and South Carolina, and Virginia. A state of emergency was called in Washington D.C. and Maryland on Tuesday.The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warned that electricity could be out in some areas for several weeks.
After a FEMA briefing in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump said the hurricane is “tremendously big, tremendously wet. Tremendous amounts of water.”
In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for five counties along the state’s coastline, beginning at noon on Tuesday.
In North Carolina mandatory evacuations were issued for the barrier islands off the state’s coast. Counties along the coast have issued voluntary evacuations.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called the storm “a monster,” saying, “It is big and it is vicious.”
“Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one’s different,” Cooper said at a press conference Tuesday. “The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you’ve ever seen.”
“If you wait until conditions get bad, it may be too late to get out safely,” Cooper warned residents.
The last time a storm of similar strength hit the area was Category Four Hurricane Hazel in October 1954. Winds reached 150 mph, and an 18-foot storm surge flooded large sections of the coast.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pilot Justin Kibbey flew into the eye of Hurricane Florence. In an interview with CNN, he described how the storm grew from under-hurricane strength to a Category Four storm in under 72 hours. He compared Florence to the catastrophic hurricanes that devastated the southeastern U.S. last year.
“[Florence] is on a par with any of the storms I saw last year,” Kibbey told CNN.
In the aftermath, officials reported “all traces of civilization on the immediate waterfront between the state line and Cape Fear were practically annihilated.” In total, the storm killed 19 people in North Carolina and destroyed 15,000 homes.
In addition to Florence, Hurricane Isaac is expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the Caribbean Sea on Thursday. In the Central Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Olivia is expected to start crossing the Hawaiian islands on Wednesday.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 12, 2018
Source: Israel in the News