Hurricane Florence is Bringing Widespread Damage & Floods

National Hurricane Center
The forecast for Hurricane Florence on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. EDT, for the next five days, by the National Hurricane Center.

Schools along the Eastern Seaboard are bracing for widespread damage from Hurricane Florence. This morning, Sept. 12, the National Weather Service said, “Major Hurricane Florence continues to bear down on the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic. High surf is already impacting portions of the east coast. 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.

Florence is expected to damage or wreck “thousands of vehicles from high winds and flooding, according to a Cox Automotive report published Tuesday. If the Category 4 storm maintains its current path, Cox Automotive said North Carolina could lose 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles,” wrote Matthew Rocco yesterday at FOXBusiness.

The National Hurricane Center stated at 2:20 p.m. EDT, that Florence is now temporarily a category 3 hurricane, and “Further strengthening is forecast through tonight. While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast on Friday.”

The National Hurricane Center said on Monday that Hurricane Florence had become a Category 4 hurricane, and on Tuesday it continued to feature maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. By Tuesday afternoon, 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.”

Also on Tuesday, Washington, D.C. joined Maryland and Virginia in declaring a state of emergency.

In South Carolina, the governor ordered that schools and state offices in some counties to be open on Wednesday: 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 at the beginning of this week. Along the coast, though, all eight counties were 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 Tuesday 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 had been no school closures announced as of Tuesday, and none in Delaware.

Lists of schools & district closings that are updated daily