Slow-Moving Florence Makes Landfall in North Carolina

Slow moving Hurricane Florence, now a category one hurricane, made landfall in North Carolina just a few minutes ago.

Hurricane Florence has officially made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina”

According to the National Hurricane Center 8 a.m. update there is continuing “life threatening storm surges and hurricane force winds.”

In addition they said that portions of North and South Carolina will experience “catastrophic fresh water flooding.”

Florence is moving at 6 miles per hour in a straight westerly direction at this time, according to the NHC. Its current location is 10 miles from Wilmington, N.C. and 65 miles from Myrtle Beach, S.C..

Most of the coastal areas of the Carolinas are under a storm surge warning. The NHC has clarified that “a Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline.”

Concerning what will happen over the next several days, here is the forecast from the NHC:

“A slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected today through Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and
extreme eastern South Carolina today and Saturday.  Florence will
then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the
central Appalachian Mountains early next week.”

CNN is on the scene and reporting a great deal of rain with the strong winds.

““My cord just literally split in two… some duct tape might be helpful,” says CNN’s @JohnBerman, in Wilmington. Hurricane Florence continues to deliver ferocious winds and torrential rain along the Carolina coast.”

With respect to wind speeds, NHC had this to say at 8:00 a.m.:

“Maximum sustained winds remain near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight.
Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early
next week while Florence moves farther inland.”

“Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195
miles (315 km).”

Most of the damage from Florence is expected to be from flooding, with the slow-moving system dumping large amounts of rain as it moves inland. Here is the latest NHC information on the rain forecasts:

“RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive
rainfall in the following areas…”

“Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South
Carolina…an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals
of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash
flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.”

“Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest
Virginia…5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. This rainfall will
produce life-threatening flash flooding.”

There is no doubt that there will be a lot of destruction from Hurricane Florence. The flooding in some areas will indeed be catastrophic. Since the winds have dropped to under 100 mph the wind damage and storm surges will not be as great as the NHC had feared, which might be considered a silver lining with respect to this major storm.