Hurricane Florence Charleston: Latest Forecast & Track

Pat Wise
September 15, 2018

Allison James, who lives at Huntersville, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, says based on reports this area would not be directly affected.

North Carolina's Emergency Management tweeted that more than 154,000 homes were already without electricity by late Thursday.

In a hurricane, as Live Science has reported, the most significant threat is flooding, not the high winds.

The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.

Forecasters say "it can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland".

Hurricane Florence brought a storm surge of some 3 meters (10 feet) as it began battering the United States east coast early on Friday.

According to CNN meteorologists, as of early Friday morning, New Bern had already seen more than 10 feet of storm surge and more than 7 inches of rainfall.

The Triangle will feel the strongest effects from Florence after 8 a.m. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph). Tropical Force winds of 58 to 73 miles per hour are expected in the area.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

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Like a bulldozer, the storm's winds and forward motion will push a tremendous amount of water onshore when it makes landfall. Every now and then nature throws out a storm so massive we can only gaze upon it in humbling awe at its fearsome power.

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More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm. Authorities have advised people, however, to move to higher levels in their homes while they wait to be rescued.

At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The center of the storm will make landfall near Wilmington early Friday morning.

The Weather Channel produced a forecast that shows virtual waters rising above the forecaster, creating a terrifying visualization that shows what 9 feet of water could do to a town. However, as the storm continues to track south, rainfall totals could increase.

"Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern", City Hall said on Twitter. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles, the hurricane center said.

However, the military is much better geographically positioned to handle Florence relief, according to Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, which will oversee operations.

And as the storm pushes inland, it could dump 6-10 inches as far inland as Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina as well as in Roanoke, Virginia, he said.

Life-threatening storm surge is being reported along the coast of the Carolinas.

Emergency officials on Wrightsville Beach were able to assess the beginning impacts of Hurricane Florence before day turned to night Thursday.

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