The director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday issued a stark warning as Hurricane Florence takes aim at the southeast.
But MSNBC Meteorologist Bill Karins said latest weather charts reveal a change in the path of the "monster" storm, which is threatening to swerve towards the USA state of Georgia. "This is not just a coastal event".
Florence is such a hurricane, with what the National Hurricane Center characterizes as a "life-threatening" storm surge for portions of the North and SC coast, and "damaging" winds for these same coastal areas.
When it reaches the coastline, it could sit around for days, unloading life-threatening storm surge, unsafe winds and flooding rain.
"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going".
Florence could slam the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel, which hit in 1954 with 130 miles per hour (209 kph) winds.
All the growth also means there's a lot more of the pavement, which increases runoff and flooding.
Parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.
"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"
President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC, opening the way for federal aid.
Most of the deaths from hurricanes in recent years have come from people who stay put and get caught in the ensuing floods, retired Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Lennon tells TIME. ABC reported that Boeing has stopped its operations in SC because of the threat.
Similar evacuations are happening all the way up to Virginia, where the governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of some low-lying coastal areas. "A tremendous amount of water".
Hurricane Isaac is now moving through the western tropical Atlantic Ocean but will likely bring heavy rain and damaging winds to parts of the Lesser Antilles later this week. Unfortunately, the forecast is for the storm to stall out and drop a ton of rain in the Carolinas.
State and federal officials have frequently urged residents in the target zone to evacuate but there was resistance along the coast.
The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Virginia to inbound vessels greater than 500 tons and was requiring vessels of that size to leave if they did not have permission to be in the ports. The hurricane caused an estimated $90 billion in damage there and on the U.S. Virgin Islands, making it the third-costliest hurricane in American history. Shutdowns also were possible at two more plants in the path of predicted hurricane-force winds.
Preparations for Florence were intensifying up and down the densely populated coast.
"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", it said early Wednesday.
"I think I'd bring a social scientist in here to see what the net value of having a Category 6 designation would be", he said. "This is the craziest one". It took Matheson and her husband almost the whole day Monday to drive the 60 miles off the barrier island.
The vessels would get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek to avoid potential damage from winds and tidal surges, said Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.
"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said.
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