On the U.S. east coast, the National Hurricane Center said yesterday, Sept. 10, that Hurricane Florence had become a Category 4 hurricane, and today, it continues to feature maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. This afternoon, Sept. 11, NHC said Florence is “getting better organized and increasing in size,” with a “life-threatening storm surge possible along the coasts of North and South Carolina.” Perhaps worst of all, inland flooding is predicted to follow. South Carolina’s coast is now under a mandatory evacuation order.
“Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches with isolated maximum amounts to 30 inches near the storm’s track over portions of the Carolinas and
Mid-Atlantic States from late this week into early next week” said the NHC. “This rainfall could produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding,” NHC concluded.
In South Carolina, the governor ordered that schools and state offices in some counties to be open on Wednesday, Sept. 12: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. Governor Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation of coastal South Carolina residents in all hurricane evacuation zones beginning no later than today, Sept. 11. Along the coast, though, all eight counties have been given a mandatory evacuation order:: Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry and Berkeley.
Storm surges predicted
NHC warned that, “A life-threatening storm surge is likely” in the Carolinas, along with life-threatening freshwater flooding, combined with a “prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event.” There are also likely “damaging hurricane-force winds” along the coast, with damaging winds reaching well-inland in those states. NHC commented today that, “Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through landfall.”
Other hurricane activities
The NHC explained that there is potentially signficant impacts from Hurricanes Florence and Olivia. Meanwhile, Issac and a Gulf Coast system are also being closely monitored.
And over in the Pacific Ocean, “Heavy rain and strong winds from Olivia could produce landslides and flash flooding in areas of Hawaii that are usually drier. A Gulf system is expected to produce heavy rain in Texas. Issac is being monitored for potential threats to U.S. territories.”
In Georgia, there have been no school closings announced yet. No closures have been announced in Florida. In Virginia, Halifax County Schools announced closures for Thursday and Friday; also, Gloucester County Schools are closed until further notice. In Maryland, there have been no school closures announced, as of Sept. 11, and none in Delaware.
- Bal Perazim Academy (Cumberland) — Closing 2 hours early.
- Cumberland County Schools (Cumberland) — 3-hr Early Release Wednesday. Closed Thursday & Friday.
- Edgecombe Co. Schools (Edgecombe) — Closing 3 hours early.
- Harnett County Schools (Harnett) — Closing 2 hours early Wednesday, Closed through Friday.
- Lee County Schools — Closed Thursday & Friday.
- Moore County Schools — Closed Thursday & Friday.
- Ms. Jos Childcare — Closed Wednesday.
- Nash-Rocky Mount Schools (Nash) — Early release Wednesday; Closed Thursday & Friday.
- Sampson County Schools (Sampson) — Early release Wednesday; Closed Thursday & Friday.