Track Hurricane Florence as it heads for the East Coast

Katie Ramirez
September 12, 2018

Until yesterday, Cline said, the hurricane had been traveling through a pressure trough that generated a lot of shear - essentially, winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere traveling at different speeds than winds at lower levels.

Compounding the issue of flooding is the type of summer North Carolina has had.

Catastrophic floods could follow if the storm stalls inland, it said. Massive waves from the hurricane will make the rush of water even more risky and damaging, the National Hurricane Center warned.

Ever since the federal government's inadequate preparation and relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 under former president George W Bush, storm preparedness has become an increasingly scrutinized measure of an administration's efficiency. The forecast is for landfall to occur overnight Thursday into Friday morning.

The last time the USA capital declared a state of emergency was in January 2016 when a winter storm dubbed "Snowzilla" blanketed the capital region in knee-deep snow.

Hurricane Florence, dubbed the "storm of a lifetime" by the National Weather Service, has slowed dramatically overnight Wednesday and may not officially make landfall until the weekend. On Monday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the state.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia triggered warnings for multiple Hawaiian islands as it blew west toward an arrival over the state as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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The storm, which is building up over the Atlantic, is due to make landfall in either North or SC within the next few days, and is expected to be the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years. Up to 35 inches of rain are to be expected in the aftermath of the hurricane, over parts of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states. Sustained winds were 130 miles per hour Tuesday morning, but it remains a Category 4 storm and is expected to intensify to near Category 5 status as it slows over very warm ocean water near North and SC. "The forecast shows Florence stalling over North Carolina, bringing days and days of rain".

Florence is continuing to move west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, with winds in the 130 miles per hour range, but is giving hints of deviations, says the National Hurricane Center. The storm will most likely strike the coast of North Carolina or SC by late Thursday. She grew up on the island chain, and says this will be only the second time she's evacuated. "We know the storm surge is going to be significant".

Her home in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is at risk for flooding, and her family and nearby relatives will ride out the storm in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The NHC warned that hurricane force winds may extend 65 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds may reach 240 kilometers outward.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic. Hurricane Camille, in 1969, and the 1935 "Labor Day" Hurricane are the only two other storms known to have made landfall at that strength in the United States.

Half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and numerous hog farms are on the storm's path.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate including from the Eastern Shore, another popular beachfront destination.

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