Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Astronauts on International Space Station showcase power of Hurricane Florence in photos


Authorities, including President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are urging residents in the Carolinas as well as parts of Virginia and Georgia to evacuate as the storm continues its path.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast, bringing days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC, where some areas could see as much as 40 inches (1m) of rain, to Virginia.

An Oklahoma search and rescue helicopter team left Wednesday for Hurricane Florence and will be stationed in Tennessee and the Carolinas along the East Coast to respond as needed, the Oklahoma City Fire Department reported.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the southeastern states in decades.

Closing in with terrifying winds of 125 miles per hour (205 kph) and potentially catastrophic rain and storm surge, Florence is expected to blow ashore Saturday morning along the North Carolina-South Carolina line, the National Hurricane Center said.

As millions of people in the Carolinas and Virginia prepare for what could be historic damage from Hurricane Florence, people in space are keeping an eye on it from above.

Forecasters have adjusted Hurricane Florence's projected path, saying that after it makes landfall, it is likely to take a more southerly route than expected. North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm.

Crews also prepared 16 nuclear reactors in the three-state region for the storm. "We are ready for the big one that is coming!"

"I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain", said Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired real estate agent who has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane. Unsure of what they would find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the hurricane center says.

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