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Hurricane Florence Advances on U.S. Coast

MIr Zayid Alam

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Map of the estimated progression of Hurricane Florence

 

 

Hurricane Florence, characterized as a Category 3 storm with sustained 115 mph winds, is sending North Carolina and other nearby territories into a frenzy. Officials and citizens alike are bracing themselves for what will likely be a catastrophic storm.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 10 million will be subject to powerful winds; by noon on Thursday, September 12, tropical-level winds are expected to batter North Carolina’s coasts. Later on Thursday, as well as on Friday, winds are predicted to pick up to hurricane level. Storm-surges may be up to 13 feet, and 83-foot waves will erode protective banks on coasts, and destroy homes and other buildings. 40 inches of rain are expected to fall in some regions, which will likely prove devastating; many parts of North Carolina by the coast are merely 5 feet above sea level. But these statistics may not even be the direst.

Meteorologists predict that Florence will sustain powerful winds, but will only move at about 2-3 mph. This means that some areas may be subject to hurricane level winds for more than 24 continuous hours. CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers stated, “If this blows at 120 mph for four hours, … you lose a shingle every two minutes, and all of the sudden, you’ve lost your whole roof after four hours.”

Evacuation protocols are in full swing, as residents in mandatory evacuation zones are well on their way to safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated that September 12th was the last safe day to leave, and 300,000 people in North Carolina have already evacuated. 1 million or more people will likely be evacuated by the end of the storm. However, some residents decided that instead of evacuating from the storm, that they would wait it out.

“We’re a good community up there. We’re going to stay tight and check on everybody,” said Wilmington resident Richard King, 64. Along with about 60 of their neighbors, King and his wife opted to stay in their home through the storm. This decision was made partially due to the facts that King and his neighbors’ homes are raised 25 feet off the ground, and are constructed to resist 140 mph winds. But even amongst those valiant enough to stay, there is some wariness.

 

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Hurricane Florence Advances on U.S. Coast