Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday morning as a Category 4 storm
The National Hurricane Center predicted that Hurricane Florence will hit the mid-Atlantic coast late Sept. 13 or early Sept. 14. Most storm models forecast the storm to hit North and South Carolina as the most powerful storm to hit the area in three decades and the first Category 3 or higher storm to hit the East Coast since Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. Computer models forecast the storm to make landfall between northern South Carolina and the North Carolina Outer Banks, as reported by The Washington Post.
“There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds,” the hurricane center said. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.”
Hurricane Florence is expected to bring swells up to 15 ft high and up to 20 in. of rain when it hits the coast. While the storm is currently a Category 3 storm, it could work its way up to a Category 4 storm before it hits the coast, according to CNN. Already, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency and residents are stocking up on essentials, clearing out bottled water and dried good from grocery stores.
“We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. “Actions today can avoid losses due to Florence.”
Hurricane Florence will arrive as the Atlantic hurricane season hits its peak. Sept. 10 marked the height of the eight-week period when the most powerful hurricanes typically form, before cooler air moves south.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 10, 2018
This incredible loop from #GOESEast shows Hurricane #Florence churning in the Atlantic. The storm is strengthening rapidly and is expected to become a major hurricane very soon. Latest: https://t.co/LdMJC4oIds pic.twitter.com/AqMr0P2Ogm
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) September 10, 2018