'The Threat Becomes a Reality': Hurricane Florence Slams Carolinas, Storm Surge Siege Underway
- [Jennifer] Hurricane Florencecollided with the coast
around 6:00 a.m., slamming intoWilmington, North Carolina,
packing wind gusts of 105 miles per hour,
and demonstrating she's no lady.
- It is making landfall,coming ashore here
near Wilmington, North Carolina.
There, you can see the eye wall,
the western edge of italready over the inland areas,
so Florence will continueto move slowly inland
during the day today.
But a large part of the circulation
is out over the open waters here,
so we'll continue to see very heavy rain
spinning into eastern North Carolina
and that will spread intoSouth Carolina as well.
So that is going to be the major story
out of this hurricane here, the flooding.
Looking at the future path of Florence,
notice it stays a minimal hurricane,
and as it moves slowlywest and southwest today
into tonight, it will weaken further
once that entire circulation
gets away from the waterduring the weekend,
then eventually themoisture streams north.
But near this path and just to the north,
we will be looking attremendous amounts of rain.
- [Jennifer] In New Bern, North Carolina,
150 people had to be rescuedfrom rising floodwaters.
- Surviving this storm willbe a test of endurance,
teamwork, common sense, and patience.
- [Jennifer] In South Carolina,
another state in thehurricane's crosshairs.
- Proverbs 6:6-8 says--
- [Jennifer] Emergencyofficials turned to the Bible
and prayed to God.
- Help us to use this eventas a rallying point for unity.
Help keep us save, O Lord.
Help us to honor and praise You
even in the midst of the storm.
- Florence is expected to dump
some 20 inches of rain on Myrtle Beach,
it's churning storm surges up to 10 feet,
and farther inland, rivers are already
overflowing their banks.
Power outages are already widespread.
Some 40,000 power workers from 17 states
are mobilized to respond.
Tens of thousands of people
across the Carolinas and Virginia
are weathering the storm in shelters.
- Once these winds start blowing
at that tropical storm rate,
it will be virtually impossible
for the rescuers to get in to rescue you.
- [Jennifer] PresidentTrump says he's confident
the federal governmentis ready to respond.
Many in the storm's path areholding on to the promise
that they're not alone.
- Help us to remember that the same God
that created the heavens and the earth,
that this is the same God that is with us
and will see us through the storm.
We ask all these things inYour gracious name, Lord.
- [Jennifer] Jennifer Wishan, CBN News.
- Well joining us now totalk about the storm's track
and the impact is Joe Bastardi.
He's the chief forecasterfor WeatherBELL Analytics.
And Joe, I've gotta ask the question,
what happened to this storm?
It seems to have changed track
and it seems to definitelyhave changed intensity.
- Well, in responding, Idon't want you to think
that this is an egotistical response,
but on September 5th,we put out a forecast
saying it would be hittingCape Fear, near Cape Fear,
Thursday night and Friday.
Those maps have all beenout on public notice
so the storm is basicallydoing what it's supposed to do.
It did weaken a bit.
But let me say somethingabout this weakening.
Where do you think there's more energy?
If you get a wind gust 125 miles and hour
for maybe 10 seconds or you get70 to 100 mile an hour winds
for 12 to 24 hours?
Where do you think there'smore energy in a storm?
Well, you gotta understand something
about that Saffir-Simpson scale.
It's only concerned withone wind at one spot
measuring the highest wind.
This is an enormous storm.
Hurricane force wind gusts
have occurred out 150 milesnortheast of the center.
We just had a wind gust inWilmington, North Carolina,
the second highest ever recorded
only behind Hurricane Helene in 1958,
which had a 930 millibar pressure.
This is 958 millibars.
When this storm is all said and done,
we're gonna understand thatthe immense power of the storm,
though not focused its fury at the center,
was spread out more and, because of that,
it will be every bit as badas what's been advertised.
So as far as the endgame of the storm goes,
you have to understand that,when you get into a situation
where it's very close to land,
the steering currents are breaking down,
it starts meandering.
If you've noticed overthe last couple of hours,
it's moved southwest andeven south-southwest.
It's south of Wilmington.
It didn't go over Wilmington.
And what we are most fearful of,
and what we've been talkingabout the past couple of days
is it comes back over the water,
goes just southeast of Myrtle Beach,
then hits Myrtle Beach underneath it,
which would mean, insteadof having northwest winds,
you shift the wind intothe east and southeast
to all across the Grand Strand
and that gives them theextra tidal surge also
to go along with the two feetof rain they're going to get.
So I think it's sort of
a pick your poison type situation here.
- Well how long are we goingto be dealing with this storm?
- Well, in different forms,
we'll deal with it until Tuesday
because, as far as tomorrow morning goes,
I think the storm willbe near Myrtle Beach.
I'm not so sure they'll still have it
classified as a hurricane,but they'll be getting racked
on the Grand Strand tomorrow morning.
The winds will be diminishing
by that time across Wilmingtonand southern North Carolina.
But they still have another12 to 18 hours of this
because it's moving so slow.
Then it'll be out nearColumbia, between Columbia
and Greenville/Spartanburgit looks like, on Sunday.
Then Monday, the centerwill probably be up
near Knoxville, Tennessee.
And Tuesday, probably over my house
in State College, Pennsylvania
'cause all it wants to dohere is rain this summer.
Without trying to be cute about that,
our rivers in Pennsylvania and Virginia
are already loaded up with water.
Another three to six inches of rain
from the remnants of a tropical cyclone
means that there's gonnabe a lot of river flooding.
And something else we gottaworry about is tornadoes.
We've already had acouple tornado warnings,
but as this gets inlandand starts breaking up,
to the right of the path,
parts of North Carolinaand South Carolina.
And then up into Virginiaand the mid-Atlantic states,
there's probably gonna betornadic activity with this.
That's what happens withthese big, powerful storms
that have gathered all thatenergy one way or the other.
Remember, folks, tropical cyclones
are nature's way of takingheat out of the tropics
and redistributing the heatinto the temperate regions.
They've been here forever.
It's hurricane season.
Occasionally, a hurricane shows up,
sometimes more, sometimes less.
And this paritcular case, so far,
we've been very blessed.
We've only had one hurricane
and that's the one you see right now.
- Well let's go back to South Carolina,
and Myrtle Beach in particular.
Tomorrow morning, what sort of storm surge
are you anticipating there?
- Well, I'm going with what...
I think the Hurricane Centerhas a good idea there.
I'm just explaining the nervousness I have
because the forecast I've been looking at
has had a worry about itdropping south of Myrtle Beach.
Now, can I say definitelythat's going to happen?
I mean only God knows tomorrow,
but I do think this jogsouth-southwest along the coast.
And you could see it as well as I.
You don't need me to tell youwhich way the storm's moving
'cause you just look at the radar.
It's been turning southwest.
Gets it back out over that water
and then it comes in under Myrtle Beach.
So Myrtle Beach is going to bea very, very tough forecast.
I hate to say it, butit's the kind of forecast
you gotta look at it every hour
for the next 12 to 18 hoursbefore you make a final call.
I'm very certain about the rain.
I'm just not certain whether the wind
goes into the east andnortheast at Myrtle Beach,
which is very differentfrom the northwest wind
they have now.
If you've been watchingpictures of Myrtle Beach,
there's sand blowing around
because the wind's blowingfrom the northwest right now.
A northeast wind is very,very different there
as it piles water in.
Remember, folks, one of the things
we talked about yesterdayand the past couple days,
the shape of the coastlinecauses a storm to tighten up
when it's coming from the ocean.
You see how the coastis shaped like a cup?
Well, what happens is the stormdoesn't want to go ashore,
so those bands tighten up andyou saw the eye tighten up.
Well, worry is if it comesback out over the water,
it'll try to do the same thing
around Myrtle Beach tomorrow morning.
- What do you think aboutthe rest of hurricane season?
We've got two more months to go.
Should we anticipate we'regoing to see more storms?
- Yeah, I think that we shutdown over the next 10 days.
In fact, you know we gotall these storms out.
It's great, you see people talk
ah, this is because of climate change.
Well, how come Isaac fell apart
at the height of the hurricaneseason in the Caribbean?
There's so many more factors.
The totality of the picture runs the show,
not this little thingor that little thing.
But what happens is, forthe next seven to 10 days,
the tropics quiet down,then after September 26th,
we're forecasting themto come back up again
and we may have one more big burst.
And I'm very concerned aboutthe southwest Atlantic,
the western Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico.
Last week of September,first week of October,
more than normal activity.
It might even originate offAfrica, try to come across.
But this time, instead offalling apart in the Caribbean,
it gets very intense in the Caribbean.
They like to do thatat the end of the year.
By the way, one more thing.
Southern California and the southwest,
do not be surprised if weget one of these systems
develop off Mexico andrecurve up in there.
And by the way, allthis is pointing the way
to a cold, stormy winter,and as a matter of fact,
I got Virginia Beach targetedfor, relative to averages,
a lot of cold and a lot of snow this year,
so you might wanna think about that.
- Now Joe, you're just fullof good news today. (laughs)
- Well, come on--- Doesn't seem to be
a safe place for anyone.- Think of it--
Let me say something,something I tell my kids
and we have in our family.
The trials you face today
are because of the blessingsthat got you here anyway.
And I'm serious about that.
Sometimes I think, you know,when you look at the weather,
this is a horrible situation,
but almost every day isnice, or fairly nice,
otherwise we wouldn'tbe where we are today
so we got to put up with this.
There's always some bad out there
and that's just the way nature is.
- All right.
Well, Joe, thanks for being with us.