Bange waiting for a particularly powerful hurricane on the southeast coast of the United States: The storm called “Florence” moved late Tuesday evening (local time) in the direction of the coastal states of North and South Carolina, as the hurricane center in Miami announced.
He has winds with top speeds of up to 220 kilometers per hour. On land, he is expected to meet on Thursday evening (local time). For North and South Carolina and the northern state of Virginia, the center issued a warning about life-threatening storm surges and rains.
More than a million people along a 400-kilometer coastline between Charleston, South Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia, were to be evacuated by order of the authorities. Many were apparently following the call, as the authorities registered much more traffic than usual, reported Brenda Bethune, mayor of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The authorities expected that a total of up to five million people will have to leave their homes temporarily. Forecasts from meteorologists can be fatal: they warn of extreme rainfall, large-scale power outages, life-threatening storm surges and floods. On photos in US media was to see how feverishly houses were barricaded. US TV channels showed pictures of empty supermarket shelves and long lines in front of gas stations.
“Florence” is considered a particularly strong hurricane. In just a few hours he was upgraded from category two to four and could even come close to the highest level – category five of the Saffir-Simpson scale, reported the US station CNN. That would mean wind speeds of more than 250 kilometers per hour. The hurricane center anticipated that “Florence” would continue to strengthen during the course of Wednesday, but could lose strength on Thursday.
However, it is not the winds of the hurricane that are especially dangerous, but the storm surges that it triggers, CNN quoted the National Civil Protection Agency (FEMA). “Storm surges have the greatest potential for killing the largest number of people. And they have the greatest destructive potential, “it said. Expected rainfall of between 38 and 76 centimeters could also overflow rivers and cause landslides, warned the hurricane center.
The three most vulnerable states of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia had precautionarily called out the emergency on Sunday to prepare for the storm. On Tuesday, the mayor of Washington DC, Muriel Bower, did so for the US capital. This borders on the north to Virginia.
“This hurricane will be very strong, even stronger than what you’ve seen in decades,” said US President Donald Trump at a meeting with journalists at the White House in Washington. The safety of his compatriots has the highest priority at the moment. Trump called on the US Congress to prepare to approve aid, if necessary. Because of the hurricane, he made several campaign appearances at the end of the week.
Further south in the Atlantic Ocean, the storm “Isaac” is heading for the Caribbean islands. About 1,500 kilometers east of “Isaac”, hurricane “Helene” is also raging at wind speeds of 175 kilometers per hour in the Atlantic Ocean. Because of his predicted northern course, which leads him into colder waters, but he holds little risk of ever reaching land.
The hurricane season started in early June. The tropical storms in the Atlantic and Pacific are named each year in alphabetical order. “Florence” is the sixth this season – but he has taken his time on his way to the coast. The storm “Gordon”, who had formed only after “Florence”, had met in early September from Mexico on the southern coast of the United States and raged there – a child was killed.