UA hurricane experts weigh in as Hurricane Florence draws near

An auto parts store has wood paneling installed over the windows Tuesday Sept. 11 2018 in New Bern N.C. as a precaution against storm damage from Hurricane Florence

This means catastrophic floods could follow if the hurricane stalls inland.

Although Florence was still days from arrival, authorities took extraordinary measures to move people out of harm's way.

Florence is headed for a region with some of the most well-known military bases in the country, including Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island in SC.

Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC.

Lines have already begun forming this week at some gas stations, as the National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Florence's winds and rain will head inland on Thursday.

The 8 a.m. forecast on Hurricane Florence reinforces projections that the storm's path will shift slightly to the southeast as it closes in on the Carolinas. She was going to ride the storm out in the Myrtle Beach area where she lives.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion", the agency says.

Some 7,000 guard members are ready to mobilize in North Carolina, while 1,100 will be activated in SC.

To hasten evacuations from coastal SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from shore.

Even Wilmington, North Carolina - a coastal city accustomed to severe weather - is bracing for an unusually brutal impact.

"When that last ferry pulls out.it's unnerving to see it pull away and know, 'That's the last chance I have of getting off this island, '" she said Wednesday.

Maps of Florence's trajectory showed its center most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina.

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Meteorologists are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches of rain expected in parts of SC. A hurricane warning was posted for most of the Carolina coast north to the Virginia border. Be sure to charge cellphones and keep back-up batteries on hand in case of extended power outages.

Storm surge is basically a wall of water that could swallow parts of the coast. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in place from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina.

"We are sparing no expense".

"It's fair to say that we may be seeing this play out again with Florence", Mann said.

Two of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history, Sandy in 2012 and Harvey past year, were influenced by similar forces, though neither by both, said Jennifer Francis, a research professor at New Jersey's Rutgers University.

Some people have weathered storms before but didn't experience heavy damage.

Brunswick County also opened its own shelters at three high schools on Tuesday.

"Florence is going to approach land, and then nearly stop and become stationary and sit over the North and SC coast for a couple days", said Galarneau.

People across the region rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies, board up their homes, pull their boats out of the water and get out of town. Many gasoline stations were running low on fuel.

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. And then from there, it's going across the area meaning a big flooding threat is in the forecast. "Now it might be time for the exam", Baxley said late in the morning.

"Where alse can we go?"

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