Satellite view of risky Hurricane Florence at sunrise

Satellite view of risky Hurricane Florence at sunrise

Satellite view of risky Hurricane Florence at sunrise

Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, "is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night" and has triggered a hurricane watch for all of North Carolina and part of SC, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The last Category 4 hurricane to plow directly into North Carolina was Hazel in 1954, a devastating storm that killed 19 people and destroyed some 15,000 homes. The initial damage is likely due come from the high winds and storm surge-high tides carried by the winds--and then by the vast soaking it will likely leave in both North and SC, as well as Virginia, as it moves slowly inland.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf.

If it makes landfall as predicted, Florence could become the northernmost Category 4 hurricane to hit the US since records were first kept in 1851.

"This increasingly severe, potentially unprecedented storm is hurdling to the epicenter of animal agriculture in North Carolina", said Will Hendrick, a staff attorney and manager for a water campaign in the state for the Waterkeeper Alliance.

Duke is moving staff and equipment toward North Carolina's coast to monitor the disposal sites for coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity. A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches (150 centimetres) for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.

A Category 5 hurricane can generate sustained winds at 251 kilometres per hour.

These alerts are usually issued about 48 hours before storms are set to touch down, when the arrival of tropical force winds would make any last-minute preparation hard. Here are five facts that show the power of this monster of a hurricane.

Florence is also expected to bring heavy flooding across the region. In addition, the amount of rainfall Florence drops inland will depend on exactly when and where it comes ashore, he said.

Florence is expected to turn into "an extremely unsafe major hurricane" during Thursday night, the centre said in a bulletin.

"From eight o'clock 'til two we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is warning residents to get out while roads are still open and uncrowded.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said during a press conference on Tuesday that his state "must be vigilant" in preparing for such an "unpredictable" storm. No evacuations have been ordered for year-round residents there or on the mainland, the county said. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House, adding that the administration would go to Congress for emergency funding.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC ahead of the Category 4 hurricane, which frees up help from federal agencies. "It's going to be really, really bad along the coast". East Carolina officials say they had decided the team wouldn't travel to Blacksburg due to "significant imminent safety concerns", including "perilous travel conditions before, during and after the storm".

The deep moisture that was in place across the region earlier this week, remnant moisture of Gordon that was carried in by the cold front and then stranded as the frontal boundary stalled, was expected to retreat westward as Florence nears the USA coast, resulting in hot, dry weather for the Cumberland Plateau for much of the week.

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