As expected, Hurricane Florence has exploded into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane as it closes in on North and South Carolina, carrying winds up to 225 km/h and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern US later this week. Communities along a stretch of coastline that’s vulnerable to rising sea levels are preparing to evacuate. Florence is expected to near Category 5 strength later today and the eye-wall should make landfall early on Friday morning. Millions of people are under a mandatory evacuation order.
Coastal areas, from Charleston, South Carolina, to Norfolk, Virginia, should be on alert for a possible direct hit, and everyone inland from the Carolinas through the Mid-Atlantic states will likely face the force of Florence’s flooding rains and winds. Hurricane Florence could deliver “exceptionally heavy” rainfall inland into Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, forecasters said. The storm surge, wind and rain impact at landfall could be severe, too, since Hurricane Florence will likely continue gathering strength as it travels over warm waters while encountering a favorable upper-level environment.
Photo Credit: The National Hurricane Centre