An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot a time-lapse video showing the intensity of Hurricane Florence as it churns through the Atlantic Ocean on its way to the East Coast.
Florence is forcing millions of people in the Carolinas to evacuate the coast and forcing many more to wonder where they can find safety as the storm takes its course. Video shot of the hurricane from one of NASA’s space stations shows the magnitude of their situation.
“This one really scares me,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned Tuesday. “You’re going to get heavy rain, catastrophic life-threatening storm surge, and also the winds.” Florence, a Category 4, has only gained power since forecasters first began tracking its trajectory.
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) September 11, 2018
Sustained winds were 130 mph Tuesday morning and the storm is expected to intensify to near Category 5 status as it slows over very warm coastal waters. The storm is still around 400 miles south of Bermuda and is lumbering toward the U.S. at 16 mph. (RELATED: Trump Approves Disaster Declarations For States In Hurricane Florence’s Path)
Officials believe Florence will slam into both North and South Carolina around Thursday morning and linger for several days, mimicking elements of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that sat on top of Houston in 2017.
Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over portions of North Carolina. Florence might not be the only massive storm the East Coast will have to contend with over the course of the next several days.
From #UNC and #NCState football to the #Courage and the Durham Bulls, here’s the latest on cancellations, postponements and schedule changes due to #HurricaneFlorence.https://t.co/Y246P7UJj7#FlorenceNC #Florence pic.twitter.com/YGBNGtXlIP
— ACC Now (@accnow) September 11, 2018
Tropical Storm Helene is also forming off the western coast of Africa, where hurricanes frequently form on their way to the U.S. Helene is located about 270 miles east of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands, the National Hurricane Center reported Saturday. Helene’s maximum sustained winds were 45 mph and it was moving west at 13 mph.
President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for the Carolinas Monday night while citizens batten down the hatches and prepare to wait out Florence. His approval allows states to coordinate seamlessly with federal agencies and access emergency funding. Government officials in the Carolinas and in Virginia asked Trump to expedite disaster declaration approvals.
Trump’s move authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population … and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe,” reads the order.
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