Hurricane Florence has ingredients that make experts worry

\'Life-Threatening\' Hurricane Florence Now Forecast to Bring \'Catastrophic\' Flooding

\'Life-Threatening\' Hurricane Florence Now Forecast to Bring \'Catastrophic\' Flooding

The National Hurricane Center issued its first set of Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches Tuesday for the East Coast as Hurricane Florence continues its trek toward North Carolina.

North and SC residents all along the eastern Atlantic coast are evacuating ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Florence.

Businesses and homes in the storm's path were boarded up and thousands of people had moved to emergency shelters, officials said, urging anyone who remained near the coast to flee.

I am very familiar with the Outer Banks of North Carolina, having vacationed there since 1991.

As of the 5am update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is still a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and gusts 160-170 miles per hour.

MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas said the game called off due to Hurricane Florence's approach, citing health and safety considerations for the players and fans.

The storm is now 845 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm enough to produce tropical cyclones. That would actually be Florence's storm surge, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. The storm is expected to make landfall near Wilmington on Thursday with impacts starting Wednesday. The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

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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.

As for the two other tropical storms spinning westward across the Atlantic - Isaac and Helene - both are also expected to steer clear of Canadian territory.

Florence's growth from an ordinary tropical storm to a major hurricane had been well-forecasted since the cyclone originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa on August 30.

The slow-moving storm, the most severe hurricane to threaten the US mainland this year, was located about 785 miles (1,260 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), according to the NHC.

Virginia, home to major government and military facilities, declared a state of emergency and 245,000 coastal residents there were ordered to evacuate by 8:00 am Tuesday including from the Eastern Shore, another popular beachfront getaway destination. Florence will likely weaken to a Category 1 storm Friday or Saturday. Unfortunately, the forecast is for the storm to stall out and drop a ton of rain in the Carolinas. "This one is different".

With weather forecasters calling the storm "life threatening", Cooper said officials are watching three main issues - storm surge along the coastline, strong winds which could be heavier than any the state has experienced in recent years, and inland flooding and heavy rains. That would mean more flooding rains across a large part of the U.S. South, expanding the damage, according to Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

"All of our computer models that we really like, that we say these are the accurate ones, are all lining up and saying this thing's going to explode", Cash said. He said electric power could be out for weeks.

Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night.

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