Florence, a Category 2 hurricane packing 105-mph winds, is closing in on the Carolinas. How worried should people there be? Here’s what a National Weather Service meteorologist said to expect:
“This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that`s saying a lot given the impacts we`ve seen from Hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd and Matthew. I can`t emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm.”
Here are some facts that show the power of this monster of a hurricane:
- The tropical storm-force winds stretch more than 335 miles, which is far enough to reach from New York to nearly Toronto.
- The hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the storm and cover more than 15,000 square miles, an area larger than Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
- The size of the hurricane-force winds has doubled over the past 48 hours despite the top wind speed weakening from 130 mph to 105 mph.
- Rainfall could reach 40 inches in isolated locations of coastal North Carolina. For comparison, Washington, D.C., averages 40 inches of rain in an entire year.
- Wilmington, North Carolina, has already had its rainiest year to date and could get eight months’ worth of rain in the next three days. The rainfall would shatter all-time records for the region.