Wind approaches outer banks of North Carolina

Katie Ramirez
September 14, 2018

Sea water was already surging ashore along the Outer Banks, washing over roads.

In Wilmington, resident Michael Wilson fortified his home against the wind and rain, and anxious. It could stall just off the coast and then drift south along the SC coast and possibly make a landfall as a weaker system if it doesn't make it clearly over the coast of North Carolina. Tropical Storm Isaac is forecast to approach the Lesser Antilles Islands on Thursday.

As much as 40 inches of rain could fall in some areas, officials have warned. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

Even though the storm's category fell from a 4 to a 2 Wednesday (local time), forecasters stressed the category is only an evaluation of the storm's peak winds in a very narrow core near the center of the storm.

Panovich: The other interesting thing is in Charlotte our biggest impacts might be felt more Friday night into Saturday, and we will certainly see some wind on Friday but I think the rain may be kind of scattered about on Friday and the heavy stuff doesn't really move in until Saturday. Sustained winds remained at 90 miles per hour, but the storm - which was never expected to threaten the US coast - should begin to weaken over the next day and become a tropical storm on Thursday, forecasters said in an 11 a.m. advisory. Widespread rainfall amounts could reach 152mm to 300mm, spurring flooding.

The storm is expected to affect airports in Georgia and Virginia. HO/AFP/Getty Images In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station. The entire coastlines of North and SC, in addition to some parts of southeastern Virginia, are under a mandatory evacuation plan.

As the storm - with those winds - nears shallow water along the coast, its forces water inland.

Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to a Category 2 storm, but don't be fooled, it's still incredibly unsafe.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Another 8 million people live in areas covered by hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

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Duke Energy serves 4 million people in the Carolinas.

Storm surge is deadly.

As of Wednesday morning, 20 eastern North Carolina counties were under either a mandatory or voluntary evacuation, or some combination of the two, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues for airports in the coastal Carolinas, FlightAware's Orsi said. The Charleston area is under a storm surge watch.

Hurricane Florence, after weeks of warnings, has finally begun to touch down in the Carolinas on Thursday afternoon.

FEMA and the National Weather Service also urged residents along the coast to evacuate.

When flight operations can resume will depend on how long Florence sticks around, and forecasters predict it could sit and drench areas of the Carolinas with a deluge of rainwater over a couple of days. If the storm makes landfall as a Category 2, these winds will be damaging, sustained at up to 160km/h or so with higher gusts. On Tuesday (September 11), they published a map to their Facebook page showing the extent of the likely wind damage brought to the United States as Florence penetrates the Eastern seaboard.

"Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage".

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