SC lifts mandatory evacuations for southern coastal counties

Terence Little
September 14, 2018

Projections Monday showed the storm making landfall in the area of Wilmington, N.C., early Friday morning, but much of SC still could see a significant impact, including high winds, rain and flooding. "Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

"An evacuation order for visitors and residents on Hatteras Island is in effect Monday while those in other parts of Dare County will be under an evacuation order beginning Tuesday".

Authorities also warned of life-threatening coastal storm surges and the potential for Florence to unleash prolonged torrential rains and widespread flooding across several states, especially if it lingers inland for several days.

By noon on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130mph. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and 19 people in North Carolina. It was not immediately clear how many people were being evacuated.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe conditions.

"This is going to produce heavy rainfall, and it may not move very fast".

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi said the ground in North and SC and Virginia is already saturated from recent rains.

The center also spoke about the storm's power.

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"He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years", he said. But nothing will get done if this generation doesn't vote, he added.

According to USA Today, which compiled a list of the fee waivers airlines are offering in some East Coast cities, almost every major airline is giving affected passengers at least a one-time break on changing their plans.

"Unfortunately, the models were right".

Florence bloomed into a category 4 monster on Monday as it made its way west across the Atlantic Ocean toward a possible landfall somewhere along the North Carolina coast late Thursday or early Friday.

At 2 a.m. ET, Hurricane Florence was 625 miles southeast of Cape Fear, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 140 mph and moving to the west-northwest at 17 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported.

Florence's centre was expected to move over the Atlantic Ocean between the Bahamas and Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching North and SC on Thursday. Two disturbances - one in the Caribbean and one well out in the Atlantic - stand moderate changes of developing into tropical storms, forecasters said.

"It's really hard to speculate this far out, since there's still significant uncertainty in the track", Sara Orsi, spokeswoman for flight-tracking service FlightAware, said about how Florence might impact flights after landfall.

"A west- northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through late Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the northwest and then toward the north-northwest on Wednesday and Thursday", the NHC said.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told reporters.

Several meteorologists said Florence could do what Hurricane Harvey did a year ago over Texas, dumping days of rain, although not quite as bad.

July was wet and August was rather dry which experts say balanced our rain totals for the season but Florence could bring a big shift, depending on its track.

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