Florence in Alamance: Prepare for flooding, even without direct hit

Sheri Evans
September 13, 2018

"This is shaping up to be a very unsafe scenario, as Florence nears our coast and stalls, unprecedented, and life-threatening flooding may unfold", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote Wednesday.

"This storm is a monster". 'It is big and it is vicious'.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). Florence is the latest example.

Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying.

He warned people in surrounding areas to "remain vigilant" and expect flash floods at the start of next week.

Panovich: Well, it's pretty interesting. The governors of North Carolina and Virginia have announced mandatory evacuations of hundreds of thousands more in their states.

It is unclear how many farm animals are in the storm's path, according to both Wooten and the North Carolina Poultry Federation. "It's going to be a day-after-day thing for a while".

In Alamance County, we will likely begin seeing winds pick up around noon Friday with stronger gusts following overnight Friday into Saturday morning.

Following landfall, Florence will continue weakening and shifting westward, becoming a tropical depression late Sunday night as the tropical system drifts into north Georgia.

Savage, soaking Hurricane Florence nears Carolina coast
Hurricane Florence shifts south as Georgia and Carolinas hunker down

"This is not a storm that people need to ride out", Cooper told reporters.

A storm surge warning was issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. Even from a distance, Florence is expected to bring more sustained easterly winds to the region.

Even Wilmington, North Carolina - a coastal city accustomed to severe weather - is bracing for an unusually brutal impact.

Marshall: You mentioned some hefty winds here in the Charlotte area.

"A lot of our storefronts are boarded up", said Lynn Davis, town manager for Belhaven which sits at sea level in northeastern North Carolina. I believe that was a Category 1 storm when it hit Charlotte.

Mack said U-Haul has been inspecting its facilities over the last week to make sure they are "clean, dry and secure".

Panovich: They will be dramatically weaker. Winds from the east have been causing coastal flooding this week along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, with high tides as much as 2 feet above normal in Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Mary's counties.

Meteorologists are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches of rain expected in parts of SC.

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