Weather

The Tropics Could Become Active Again

Sep 21, 2018

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring four systems in the Atlantic Basin, two of which have a greater than 50 percent chance of developing in the next five days according to an outlook they issued Friday afternoon. None, however, are an immediate threat to South Carolina.

Updated 11:40 a.m. ET Sunday

Florence weakened to a tropical depression Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center said, but flooding continued to be a major danger throughout the Carolinas.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the storm is more dangerous now than when it made landfall. "Flood waters are still raging across parts of our state, and the risk to life is rising with the angry waters," Cooper said in a news conference on Sunday.

"The threat of flooded roads keeps spreading," Cooper continued.

There IS an end in sight. It’s just not anytime soon for those that need it the most.

Even though all tropical storm warnings have been cancelled, the persistent heavy rain and flash flooding from Tropical Storm Florence will continue for several more hours in portions of North and South Carolina.

The heavy rain and flood risk will then spread across the Mid-State of North Carolina and areas along and north of I-20 in South Carolina Saturday Night.  

Hurricane-force winds roared through the cracks around Randy Wood's garage door, shook his house, and stripped his property's pine trees, strewing one limb after the next in his yard. Accompanying the roar of the storm was the steady ticking whirr of Wood's generator and his own matter-of-fact voice, tinged by his Carolinas accent, explaining why he decided to stay in his home in Conway, S.C., directly in the path of Hurricane Florence.

Santee Cooper

Reports from Santee Cooper indicated that as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, some 38,900 Santee Cooper retail customers were without power due to early impacts from Hurricane Florence. Earlier in the afternoon outages peaked at 39,200, and crews were able to restore about 9,000 customers today before the outages increased again.

On the transmission side, three lines were locked out, impacting customers of Santee Cooper, Horry Electric Cooperative and Santee Electric Cooperative.

Florence: It's Now All About the Flooding

Sep 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence has slowed and is now crawling to the west at 6 mph. Life-threatening storm surge, inland flooding, and wind damage are imminent along the coast of North Carolina from Wilmington to the Outer Banks and stretching to northern portions of South Carolina through the day on Friday. Florence is forecast to move southwest along the coastline before turning to the northeast on Sunday.

As Hurricane Florence slams North Carolina, the riverfront city of New Bern is already feeling the impacts. Emergency crews are attempting to respond to more than a hundred calls for rescues.

Amber Parker, spokesperson for Craven County, North Carolina, tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson that officials are happy to have daylight on their side Friday.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning. The effects of the storm are being felt even further inland, with widespread reports of flooding.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd talks with meteorologist Jeff Huffman (@HuffmanHeadsUp).

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina's governor offered a series of dire warnings.

"Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different," Gov. Roy Cooper said.

As Hurricane Florence made landfall, it appeared many North Carolinians had listened.

Many in the Charleston Area Shelter in Place for Florence

Sep 14, 2018
Charleston area gas station runs out of fuel
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Just hours before hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina, Dallas Cone and his nearly 1 year-old daughter Hannah sat in the sand on Sullivan’s Island just outside of Charleston enjoying the cool breeze and growing waves.  He admitted his family was poised to leave, but changed their mind at the very last minute.

“We did board up yesterday expecting the worst,” he said.  “But I think it’s going to be north of us right now.”

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

More than 100 people were waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles Friday morning in New Bern, N.C., after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.

Six swift water rescue teams have been working since Thursday afternoon to evacuate individuals and families, in some cases, from the roofs of their homes, the New Bern Public Information Officer Colleen Roberts said Friday afternoon.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Saturday

Tropical Storm Florence is still a slow-moving giant that poses danger to people in North and South Carolina, as its storm surge and intense rains bring high floodwaters to towns both on the coast and inland.

The storm has been linked to at least five deaths, a toll that is expected to climb.

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Hurricane Florence is now only moving at 5 mph.  This will prolong the risks of life-threatening storm surge and wind damage, which are imminent along the coast of North Carolina from Wilmington to the Outer Banks.  

The first tornado warned cell associated with outer bands of Florence moved through portions of the Inner Banks of North Carolina just after 11 am, with two more following shortly thereafter. Tornadoes are still possible across eastern North Carolina through Friday, where a Tornado Watch is in effect until further notice.

South Carolina Braced for Hurricane Florence

Sep 13, 2018

The South Carolina Emergency Response Team continues to track Hurricane Florence and remains fully dedicated to preparing for the storm's potential impact on South Carolina. Forecasters say that Florence is currently a Category 2 hurricane with the capacity to bring record amounts of rain to South Carolina. The State Emergency Operations Center is fully operational, staffed by emergency personnel from various state agencies and emergency organizations. The SEOC will be operational 24 hours a day until further notice.

Santee Cooper line workers stock trucks in Myrtle Beach on Thursday, in advance of Hurricane Florence.
Courtesy of Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper will have approximately 130 line and tree crews –roughly four times the number during normal conditions - working to restore outages on its system caused by Hurricane Florence, including more than 70 mutual aid and contract crews coming from Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Missouri.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Storm surges of 9 to 13 feet and rainfall up to 40 inches: Those are two of the most dire warnings about Hurricane Florence's effect on parts of North and South Carolina. Thousands have heeded evacuation orders; others are hoping to cope with the storm in their homes or at local shelters.

Many seaports and airports along the southeastern U.S. coastline have been shut down, more than 1,000 flights have been canceled, and some highways and bridges in low-lying coastal areas could close soon, as Hurricane Florence gets closer to making landfall.

Authorities in coastal areas that lie in the path of the massive storm are urging residents one last time to evacuate.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's message is pretty blunt: If you live in an evacuation zone, hit the road soon.

A sign for the Lumber river in Nichols, SC.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Flooding will be a major concern for parts of South Carolina, possibly during and after Hurricane Florence makes landfall. The town of Nichols, in Marion county, experienced severe flooding in 2016 during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Disaster Recovery Coordinator Michaela Hufford shares what the town is doing to prepare for Hurricane Florence.

"Everyone, rightfully so, is nervous about it. It is a really big storm and a lot of newscasters are comparing it to Hugo," Hufford said.

State officials in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are calling Hurricane Florence “extremely dangerous” and “life-threatening.”

Here & Now‘s Robin Young gets the latest from NPR’s Greg Allen (@gallennpr) in North Carolina.

Updated at 5:10 a.m. ET on Thursday

The outer rain bands of Hurricane Florence were beginning to be felt in North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center, as the Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 110 mph and the likelihood of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall," ranged closer to a landfall.

Life-threatening storm surge and extreme wind damage is becoming more likely from Major Hurricane Florence in portions of South and North Carolina, which prompted the National Hurricane Center to issue a Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning for more than 350 miles of coastline Tuesday afternoon.

Florence is then likely to slow to crawl or even stall, potentially producing catastrophic inland flooding across a large area of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Appalachians.
 

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The severity of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is intensifying and triggering hurricane warnings along the coasts of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update.

File photo
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Evacuation Order Remains in Effect for Edisto Beach and all Central and Northern Coastal Counties

Residents in the southern most parts of South Carolina no longer need to evacuate due to Hurricane Florence. Due to updated predictions from the National Hurricane Center, Governor Henry McMaster, in coordination with state and local officials, has lifted the mandatory evacuation order for zones in Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties, with the exception of Edisto Beach. The mandatory evacuation executive order remains in effect for all zones in Horry, Georgetown, Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and for Edisto Beach.

File photo
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Governor Henry McMaster, in coordination with local officials, has issued Executive Order 2018-29, which orders the evacuation of coastal South Carolina residents for their personal safety as Hurricane Florence approaches. Residents in all hurricane evacuation zones must evacuate beginning no later than noon, Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Florence rapidly intensified into a "potentially catastrophic" Category 4 storm Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said in a special statement at 12 pm. This was based on data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft's most recent pass through the eye, which found maximum sustained winds near 130 mph and a central pressure of 946 mb. The storm was located 925 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, or 1230 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph. mph.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Hurricane Florence is growing in size and strength as it barrels toward the Southeastern U.S. for an expected landfall in the Carolinas later this week as an "extremely dangerous hurricane," according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florence became a hurricane again Sunday morning, and is forecast to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by Monday. The storm could be a dangerous, slow-moving and significant threat to South Carolina later this week.

In their 5 pm Sunday advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Florence was located 720 miles southeast of Bermuda and had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. According to Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake earlier Sunday, those wind speeds were likely to dramatically increase in the next 24 hours,

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