'This Thing's Going to Explode': Hurricane Florence Packing Devastation and Catastrophic Flooding

Hurricane Isaac has seriously weakened recently due to the wind shear in the Atlantic

Hurricane Isaac has seriously weakened recently due to the wind shear in the Atlantic

The National Hurricane Center said: "Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding is possible over portions of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states from late this week into early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland".

Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters), the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned.

Florence is expected to hit the Carolinas and Virginia on Thursday or early Friday, prompting evacuation orders for more than a million people.

Rick Leuttich directs the University of North Carolina's Institute of Marine Science Morehead City, and is one of the principal developers of the ADCIRC coastal circulation and storm surge model.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield said this morning that Hurricane Florence is continuing to move toward the Carolinas.

He says the peanut crop could use some rain after a very dry August, but certainly doesn't need the amount of moisture Florence is expected to deliver.

It is now moving west-northwest at about 16 miles per hour and that speed is expected to increase in the next few days, says the center.

NHC forecasts showed the effects of Florence would be widely felt, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 300 miles across three states.

"This has an opportunity of being a devastating storm".

He has also cancelled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm.

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Norcross said the soggy summer will exacerbate the flooding: "And then you add to that the fact that they've had very heavy rain in the mid-Atlantic this year already, and the ground is quite saturated", he said.

"Inland flooding will be a major threat and something people far from the landfall location should be concerned about", Miller said.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac, but neither packs the deadly punch of Florence. "Make sure you have flashlights and batteries", Bowser said. Cape Lookout to Ocracoke Island could see 5 to 8 feet of water, experts say.

Both the Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches cover the area from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, north to the North Carolina-Virginia border, according to a statement issued Tuesday. Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 500 millimetres over much of North Carolina and Virginia, and even 760 mm in some places.

The hurricane center is continuing to forecast very unsafe storm surge and rip currents kicked up by the storm for the entire N.C. coast.

However, Hubbard said Florence is not expected to have any impact on Canada, given its predicted track into the US mainland, where it will likely weaken considerably on the weekend.

For those still preparing for the storm, Penske Truck Leasing has put together a tip sheet.

A Category 5 hurricane can generate sustained winds at 251 kilometres per hour. UCF had to cancel its home game against Georgia Tech past year because of Hurricane Irma. Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different.

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with everyone who may be affected by this storm", UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White said.

"This storm is going to knock out power days into weeks".

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