Latest FEMA and NWS Updates Warn Hurricane Florence to Hit Catastrophic Levels

FEMA and the NOAA’s National Weather Service warned that despite Hurricane Florence weakening to a Category 2, the storm is still extremely dangerous and expanding, as it is expected to hit the East Coast at “catastrophic levels,” with life-threatening storm surges, an expanded wind field, and rainfall threats that have not diminished, bringing potentially widespread flooding.

Key things to know:

  • Hurricane Florence is a dangerous category 2 hurricane.
  • The storm will produce catastrophic flash flooding and major river flooding.
  • Storm surge warnings have been issued. Life-threatening storm surges will occur near landfall and for some time after.
  • Tropical-storm-force winds may arrive on Thursday.
  • Hurricane-force winds are expected to arrive Thursday night into Friday.
  • The storm is expected to stall near or along the coast of the Carolinas through Friday.
  • The remnants of the storm will linger in parts of the East into early next week.

Officials: Don’t be fooled by storm weakening. Expanding & “catastrophic”

Devastating storm surges along the coast and slow movement of the storm over land is anticipated to have catastrophic effects,  as the deluge of rain is expected to create widespread flooding. Officials warn that Hurricane Florence weakening to a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour, mostly refers to its maximum wind speed. However, they say the wind field has expanded and the potential of storm surges “are still at catastrophic levels.”

Officials warn not to be fooled by Florence weakening, as they say the storm is expanding, and with it, so are its life-threatening impacts.

Threat of rainfall not diminishing

Officials warn that the storm is expected to be a “major flooding event.” Torrential rain could cause flash floods, mudslides and major river flooding.

Even though the eye of the storm has continued to show deterioration; the threat of rainfall has not diminished for a large area of concern, with some inland areas expecting rainfall in the double digits, such as Wilmington, North Carolina expecting 28 inches of rain, and as far inland as Charlotte expecting nine inches of rain.

Gusty winds and tornadoes

Damaging, gusty winds and the threat of tornadoes looms over many areas. Even with the storm tracking South, dangerous weather conditions are possible South and East of Raleigh, North Carolina.