'Don't Bet Your Life on Riding out a Monster': Category 4 Florence Threatens Catastrophe
- Already a category four storm,
the National HurricaneCenter predicts the storm
will strengthen Wednesday night
as it moves toward the Carolina coast.
A hurricane hunter withthe National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administrationflew through the eye
of Florence this week,capturing this video.
It is expected to weakensomewhat on Thursday,
but still predicted tobe an extremely dangerous
major hurricane whenit nears the US coast.
- If it does slow up, storm surge is going
to become a bigger problem,and also it's expected
to make landfall as a major hurricane.
Our track here showingit as a category three.
Still, we're thinkingFriday late or Friday night
into the start of the weekend.
Notice how it kind ofmeanders here off the coast,
and then once it does comeon shore, it is slow moving.
It goes down through a tropical storm
and then a tropical rain storm here,
and still Sunday and Monday sitting here
over parts of the south east.
So we could be dealing with historical,
catastrophic rainfallespecially in coastal parts
of North Carolina.
- National Weather Service officials warn
of the potential forunbelievable damage from wind,
storm surge and inlandflooding with this storm.
North Carolina's governoralso did not mince words.
- The waves, and the windthis storm may bring,
is like nothing you've ever seen.
- The governor urgedlocals not to hunker down,
but to leave.
- We need people to evacuate.
They're putting their own lives at risk,
as well as the lives of first responders.
- On the ground, millionsof people are evacuating.
CBN News reporter Eric Rosalesis headed for the storm zone.
- We're just outside ofDurham, North Carolina
and a number of commuterswho are heading out of town
are finding this: gas stations are simply
running out of gas or are low.
We did see a steady streamof people as we made our way
from Washington DC out to the Carolinas,
as they are continuing to make their way
and heeding the warningabout this historic storm
that is going to pound the Carolinas.
Many are relying on their faith.
- Oh yeah, I trust Him, He always has us
and I'm sure He's gonnakeep us throughout this.
My grandma's been prayingand she's been calling
from New Jersey and sothe kids are prepared.
- Thousands of disaster response crews
prepare for the worst.
In Virgina Beach, battalionchief Chris Ludford
with the Virginia Beach fire department,
told CBN News people near Sandbridge Beach
appear to be heedingthe evacuation orders.
- Absolutely overall, I get the sense,
especially the visitors.
- There are several threats associated
with Hurricane Florence.
Chief Ludford says hebelieves the biggest threat
for Sandbridge Beach and theBack Bay Wildlife Refuge,
is tidal flooding.
- And that coupled with standingwater due to heavy rains,
those are gonna be the two things
that we worry about most here.
- The National HurricaneCenter predicts as much as
two to three feet of rain in parts
of North and SouthCarolina which could lead
to catastrophic flash flooding.
Mark Martin, CBN News.
- With us now via Skype, is Joe Bastardi.
He's the chief forecasterfor WeatherBell Analytics.
And Joe, have you got any take
on where that thing is headed now?
- Well, we've been forecastingthis since actually,
September 2nd, we alertedour clients to this threat.
September 5th we had jumped on this to
do the overall pattern inthe north west Atlantic.
There's something going oncalled the "Newfoundland Wheel."
It's a big, high pressure system there.
The old timers know about it; that's why
we had so many hurricanesback in the fifties
hitting the easternseaboard because you have
predominately high pressureover the north west Atlantic
during the hurricane season, so we've seen
this general type of pattern before.
Of course, every storm isa little bit different,
so every storm has adifferent twist to it.
This is taking what myfather, who's a meteorologist,
and he's 89 years youngnow, called "the shortcut."
In other words, instead of coming west
and then turning north,this is coming directly in
from the south east andthere have been storms
like this that have done this before.
Isabelle, for instance, in 2003 did this.
We also saw Gracie in 1959 do this.
So this storm, as far asthe track to Cape Fear,
which is what my company'shad since last Wednesday,
is not unprecedented in the general sense.
What happens after thatthough, and where we changed
our forecast this morning,was when it gets to Cape Fear,
it stalls around there andthen starts south west.
Why--Because the high inthe Atlantic breaks down
and a new upper air ridgedevelops over the Great Lakes,
so it literally pushes itback to the south west,
to a point where eventhough this would weaken
in the coastal waters,moving south westward
toward Savannah and Charleston,
it would still be a big hurricaneand batter those places.
Now let me talk to folks directly
around Wilmington, Cape Fear.
You've got to get out of there.
Because this is not likeHugo, not like Hazel,
not like these stormsthat just move through.
Floyd--Remember it movedthrough in 12 hours.
This is gonna stay for two days.
And you're gonna be under a siege there
from tomorrow afternoon into Friday night
and perhaps Saturday morning,where there's nothing
but a relentless poundingof wind and heavy rain.
So, you have to heedthese evacuation orders.
This is where this is uniqueand that it's stalling
in that particular area andthen backing south west.
We've seen storms back south west before,
for instance the Yankee storm in 1935
originating near Bermudawound up hitting at Miami.
So, we've seen storms that have done that
but not in close to the coast like this,
so this is for the areasthat get hit directly,
this is your Harvey, your Katrina
and you should take it that way.
- How long is Florence goingto affect the eastern US?
- Well, I still think,our track takes it inland
between Savannah andCharleston, believe it or not
Sunday night, and then we have it back
toward Atlanta Monday and thentrying to loop back around,
and the remnants of this maycome off the mid-Atlantic
or south Atlantic coast in about 10 days.
When it gets there--Therain threatened Virginia.
Up in Virginia is probably when this gets
up into the mountains andthat's six, seven days away.
But it's going to loop all the way through
the south eastern states,come up the west side
of the mountains and thentrying to come across.
I'm sure you remember what Camille did--
And when Camille in '69hit, and then it hit those
mountains in Virginia and West Virginia,
you had 20 to 30 inches of rain up there,
three days after the storm hit.
So we're concerned about that option too.
You gotta realize folks, this has brought
all this moisture, all theway from Africa across.
The sea surface temperatures
in the western Atlanticare warmer than normal,
so there's an immenseamount of water coming in,
and this storm, we'regonna have to watch it
until the very end.
A week from now, we may still be talking
about the remnants of this storm.