Hurricane Florence has changed course slightly and is now expected to make landfall further south than first anticipated, threatening the whole of South Carolina with devastating winds and rain.
As USA Today reports, weather forecasters updated their predictions for the mammoth Category 4 hurricane’s expected track. New models show the storm moving south a bit, rather than slightly north as was originally thought. That puts its sights squarely on the coast of South Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“The NHC track has been adjusted southward… and additional southward adjustment may be warranted in future advisories.”
Evacuations are already underway.
In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper ordered the evacuation of the Barrier Islands. Meanwhile, in coastal Dare and Hyde counties, officials have ordered residents and tourists alike out of the counties. Hyde County spokesperson Donnie Shumate said that historic Ocracoke Island is directly in the path of Florence.
“Ocracoke hasn’t seen anything in recent memory like the amount of storm surge this storm could bring. And Ocracoke has been through a lot of hurricanes.”
Lori Rosbrugh heeded the call to evacuate, after first protecting her home as best she could with sandbags – for whatever good it will do.
“I had a great time filling 25 sandbags, and I get them all home and my husband’s like, ‘Do you really think those sandbags are going to keep six feet of water out of the house?’ I said, ‘No but makes me feel better.’ I don’t know if they’re doing to do a whole lot if we take a direct hit.”
Others have found their evacuation efforts stalled, as early storm surges have made roads impassable.
And not everyone is leaving. As reported by the Inquisitr, several residents are staying. That’s because many lack the money to travel, or have nowhere to go. Others, like retired New York firefighter John Wright, simply intend to wait it out.
“I believe in preparation. It is what it is. We live in a wonderful place but that’s the cost of living here.”
The National Hurricane Center has released the latest update on Hurricane Florence. Here’s where it is now and here’s where it’s heading: https://t.co/hK3S1s1jtD
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 12, 2018
Meanwhile, the severity of this storm cannot be understated. Though it’s only a Category 4 hurricane (and it may yet strengthen into a Category 5), the real problem with Florence is that it’s expected to stall once it makes landfall. That means that, in addition to sustained 130-mile-per-hour winds and potentially deadly storm surges, Florence could linger over the area for days, dumping 20-40 inches of rain in the area.