Hurricane Florence to hit North Carolina on Thursday, one million evacuated

Hurricane Florence as captured from the International Space Station

Hurricane Florence, said to be the first Category 4 storm to hit North Carolina in six decades, is expected to hit the shore by Thursday. More than 1 million residents have been evacuated from the coastal areas ahead of the hit.

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami stated that fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of the three states, and its rains will take a heavy toll for miles inland.

The storm, ranked as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale is expected to grow stronger and larger over the next few days, the NHC said.

“This storm is a monster,” North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper said. “Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster.”

The storm is currently located about 670 mi (1075 km) east-southeast of cape fear North Carolina maximum sustained winds 140 mph (220 km/h), the NHC disclosed.

Hurricane Florence’s projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons. Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

A lot of experts have dubbed the storm to be “big and monstrous.”

“We’ve seen nor’easters and we’ve seen hurricanes before,” Cooper said, “but this one is different.” It has all the elements that have experts heavily concerned, reported AP.

The elements include: warmer than normal sea temperatures to add energy and rain to a storm, a wind pattern that allows a storm to get strong and stay strong, higher sea levels to make a storm surge worse, a storm covering enormous area, to drench and lash more people and an unusual combination of other weather systems that are likely to stall Florence when it hits the Carolinas, allowing it to sit for days and dump huge amounts of rain.

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