Florence, currently located over a thousand miles away from the Southeast coast, will make landfall this coming week somewhere along the East Coast, likely as a major hurricane. Very strong winds, significant storm surge, and heavy, flooding rains are all the main threats associated with the storm at this time. These all are points of serious concern for residents.
The governors of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have all declared states of emergency on Friday or Saturday. This allows these states to move resources and money around easier to prepare for the hurricane.
“While the impacts of Tropical Storm Florence to Virginia are still uncertain, forecasts increasingly expect the storm to strengthen into a major hurricane that could seriously affect the East Coast and Virginians,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said on Saturday. Based on latest forecasts, a direct landfall is unlikely on the state, but flooding could be a big issue based on some model guidance.
In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster is hoping for the best outcome, issuing a statement saying, “We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best.” This comes as the National Hurricane Center forecasts Florence to make a direct landfall on either North Carolina or South Carolina.
On Sunday, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted, “The South Carolina Emergency Operations Center is now fully activated at Operational Condition 3. OPCON 3 status means that agencies are preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster or emergency situation as we all monitor the Florence forecasts.”
The South Carolina Emergency Operations Center is now fully activated at Operational Condition 3. OPCON 3 status means that agencies are preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster or emergency situation as we all monitor the #Florence forecasts. #sctweets #scwx pic.twitter.com/rnI6OeBDuZ
— SCEMD (@SCEMD) September 9, 2018
North Carolina is also preparing. Gov. Roy Cooper waived certain transportation restrictions, allowing farmers to harvest and move crops more quickly. Residents near the coast are also urged to know their evacuation route now in case an evacuation order is declared, and to stock up on extra fuel and other survival essentials.
For a full forecast on Florence, follow updates in our Twitter (@weatheroptics) feed and stay tuned for a full update online in our “Sunday Storm” article this evening.