Home Original Hurricane Florence Takes Aim for a Devastating Blow to the Carolinas
Hurricane Florence Takes Aim for a Devastating Blow to the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence Takes Aim for a Devastating Blow to the Carolinas

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

Hurricane Florence remains on course to strike a devastating blow to the Carolinas on Thursday – with a possible major impact in Virginia also – in what could be the worst storm to hit the U.S. East Coast in more than 60 years. The governors of the three affected states have each declared a state of emergency.

Already one and a half million people have been ordered to evacuate the East Coast areas most likely to bear the brunt of the Category 4 storm,” CNN said.

As of 8 a.m. ET Tuesday, Florence’s center had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and was about 950 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami reported that its reconnaissance aircraft found that Florence “has weakened slightly” but is expected to strengthen again later today.

Category 5 Hurricane: 150 MPH Winds

CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers concurred. “We do expect (the storm’s) eye to get its act together again later today and become that almost-Category 5 storm at 150 to 155 mph,” he said.

See What It’s Like To Fly Into a Hurricane

According to the NHC, Florence will produce between 15 to 20 inches of total rainfall across portions of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina through Saturday, with up to 30 inches of rain closer to the center of the storm. Florence may also create “life-threatening flash flooding,” the Center said.

North Carolina Counties under Mandatory Evacuation Orders

ABC Channel 11 in Raleigh, North Carolina listed the following areas where mandatory evacuations have been ordered. They include:

Pamlico County
North Topsail Beach
Dare County
Tyrrell County
Brunswick County (residents who live in low-lying and flood-prone areas or substandard or mobile homes)
Ocracoke Beach
Currituck Outer Banks (for visitors)
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Hurricane Hazel

The worst storm to come ashore on the U.S. East Coast north of Florida was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. That storm registered winds of 150 mph when it made landfall in North Carolina. Nineteen people died and an estimated 15,000 buildings were destroyed. Twelve hours after making landfall, Hazel was in Buffalo, New York, and had ripped through seven states with winds still swirling at 100 mph or more. Hazel was blamed for at least 60 deaths in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York state.

Jay Barnes, a hurricane historian and author, told the Associated Press that Hazel was “a benchmark storm in North Carolina’s history.” With evacuations already underway across the region, Barnes says the damage Florence may cause could be notably greater than Hazel’s impact.

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."