Hurricane Florence is now on North Carolina’s doorstep. Folks on the coast should’ve either evacuated or made the necessary preparations. Inland residents have a little more time, but not much. Here are 8 Things on Hurricane Florence: Here Go Hell Come.
Moose, I’m scared.
Well, that’s OK. Fear is a natural reaction to a storm capable of causing mass destruction.
You’re not helping. Anyway, what’s the latest on this storm?
Sorry. Florence is a Category 2 hurricane moving northwest at 12 mph. It has sustained winds of 110 mph. No additional strengthening is likely and the storm is expected to make landfall overnight tonight near Wilmington. It’ll slow down and spend most of Friday there before pushing through SC and into western NC early next week.
Category 2? Wasn’t it just a 4? So this is like half as bad now, right?
No, don’t think of it like that. It’s certainly better for us that Florence isn’t a 4 or 5, but it’s still going to cause significant problems. Storm surge near the coast is forecast to be 6-13 feet across a broad area. Rainfall amounts across the state are forecast to approach 6″ in most areas, with greater amounts near 20″+ in southeastern NC. That rain will soften the grounds and, along with tropical storm winds or wind gusts, will make it easier for downed trees and power lines.
I feel like you’re just repeating yourself even though the storm isn’t as strong now. What gives?
Well, just because the storm is weaker than yesterday, flooding is almost always the primary threat with hurricanes. Winds get all the publicity, but the storm surge and flooding from rainfall was always the main evening with this one.
I still don’t believe you. No way a Category 2 is that bad, right?
Well, Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008 along the Gulf Coast as a Category 2. You tell me:
Yeah, so pray for the folks along the coast of NC and SC. I know a Category 4 was more flashy to say and the corollary to Hazel was captivating, but this is still a dangerous storm and we’re not out of the woods.
Alright, well, is there anything different we should be doing to prepare for this?
Not really. If your house has issues with water polling in areas and getting in, sand bags would be a good idea if you can find them now. Make sure you’ve got plenty of water, batteries, food. Gas cans for generators, if you’re using them. You’re a little late to the game if you haven’t done some of this. One other thing is filling ziploc bags with water and putting them in the freezer. Keeps the freezer colder longer and you’ll be able to use it later for drinking/cooking if your water or power go out.
If you’ve done all that, sit back and ride it out as safely as you can. Don’t go out if you can avoid it. Check on your neighbors. It’ll hit overnight tonight with the most significant threats, so it’ll be dark and dangerous to be outside. Rains will start this afternoon and evening with winds picking up throughout the day. You’ve probably noticed it’s gotten a little breezier this morning. Will only get moreso later.