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As Florence Surges Forward, Rethinking What Hurricane Preparation Looks Like

16 September 2018

Axios: "The ties between Hurricane Florence and climate change" - "Hurricane Florence is a unique Atlantic hurricane, projected to stall out after hitting land and forecast to dump upwards of 2 feet of rain on several states, much like Hurricane Harvey did in Texas a year ago".

Hurricane Florence's potentially devastating winds are generating enormous waves as high as 83 feet as it continues to make its way toward the East Coast and insurers predict it will become the costliest such storm to ever hit the continental U.S.

By the time the winds died down and the floodwaters receded, Harvey, Irma and Maria were three of the five most destructive hurricanes in US history - and 2017 was the costliest hurricane season ever. "And not only are there more people, but we're more affluent than our parents were".

Those moving to the coasts are living in larger houses and own more cars, but their houses are also closer together. That means more impervious surfaces - such as roads and rooftops - and less area for the floodwaters to go.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast, bringing days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

The frequency and intensity of hurricanes have ebbed and flowed throughout the last century, but there has been no measurable increase in either over that time, several studies have found.

And one study published in July showed that tropical cyclones across the world are actually slowing down.

The footage was captured by one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Hurricane Hunters, planes given whimsical nicknames that chase down storms - "Kermit" and "Miss Piggy".

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, which decimated parts of the Gulf states and Texas in 2005 and 2017 respectively, cost more than $125 billion.

Hurricane-force winds will bring down trees and damage homes and businesses.

That "hurricane amnesia" is why so much of the preparation for a storm emphasizes that people should follow the instructions of local emergency management officials. But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.

"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said at a news conference. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".

Building codes can differ from place to place.

The shift south and west will encompass more of SC and western North Carolina.

"This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news briefing.

"I can't emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm".

"This is a very fluid situation, especially now that new model runs are shifting the course of the storm south after landfall, potentially increasing its impact on SC and Georgia", St. Mary's Hospital spokesman Mark Ralston said. "It's sort of like having 33 weather stations out in the middle of the ocean", said flight director Richard Henning.

"You like to say in sports that it's often a game of inches", Bowen said.

As Florence Surges Forward, Rethinking What Hurricane Preparation Looks Like