Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

By Anonymous

As Florence lumbered further north Tuesday, dumping heavy rains on New England, the Carolinas continued to deal with the aftermath of the storm, which claimed at least 33 lives and stranded thousands of people in floodwaters.

The storm has prompted thousands of rescues, sent at least 17,000 people in the Carolinas into shelters, derailed a freight train, plunged hundreds of thousands of homes into darkness and flooded roadways from small streets to major interstates.

Flooding remained a major concern, and officials in North Carolina were monitoring vulnerable dams for potential breaches.

Rainfall totals could reach as high as 40 inches in southeastern North Carolina and 15 to 20 inches in the western part of the state.

A preliminary report from Swansboro, N.C., showed that more than 30 inches of rain had fallen so far, according to the National Hurricane Center. That broke the tropical cyclone rainfall record of 24.06 inches for North Carolina, which was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, it added.

Rainfall and Flooding

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

VIRGINIA

25 miles

25 km

Winston-Salem

NORTH CAROLINA

Raleigh

Neuse River

Greenville

Little River

New Bern

Charlotte

Fayetteville

Trent River

Jacksonville

Lumberton

Wilmington

Atlantic Ocean

SOUTH CAROLINA

Florence’s path

Myrtle Beach

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

VIRGINIA

25 miles

25 km

NORTH CAROLINA

Winston-Salem

Raleigh

Neuse River

Greenville

Little River

New Bern

Fayetteville

Trent River

Jacksonville

Lumberton

Atlantic Ocean

Wilmington

Florence’s path

Myrtle Beach

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

VIRGINIA

25 miles

25 km

NORTH CAROLINA

Winston-Salem

Raleigh

Neuse River

Greenville

Little River

New Bern

Charlotte

Fayetteville

Trent River

Jacksonville

Lumberton

Atlantic Ocean

Wilmington

Florence’s path

Myrtle Beach

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

VA.

25 miles

25 km

N.C.

Raleigh

Neuse R.

Greenville

Little R.

Fayetteville

Trent R.

Jacksonville

Lumberton

Cape Fear R.

Lumber R.

Wilmington

S.C.

Florence’s path

Pee Dee R.

Myrtle Beach

Atlantic Ocean

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that 16 rivers in the state remain at major flood stages, and three won’t crest until Wednesday or Thursday.

More than 1,100 roads in the state are still closed, including interstates 95 and 40, he said.

“Sunshine doesn’t necessarily mean safety,” Mr. Cooper said. “Rivers continue to rise, and we will see more flooding.”


Photos: Florence Ravages Carolinas With Rain, Winds

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Russell Maloy walked over a track bridge near his home to check the level of the Cape Fear River, which has been rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Fayetteville, N.C., on Tuesday.

David Goldman/Associated Press

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As it barreled toward the East Coast last week, Hurricane Florence was driving fierce winds, tides and rain made more powerful by the consequences of long-term climate change and the natural fickleness of the weather, researchers said.

A unique—and potentially deadly—combination of weather patterns and coastal geography added to the uncertainty about where exactly the storm would make landfall, how its intensity might change once it arrived and where it would go inland.

Wind Wars: Changes in the Forecast for Hurricane Florence Explained

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Tuesday

Another high-pressure system over the central U.S. prevented Florence from moving north.

Monday

A strong high-pressure system of winds to the north forced Florence west, toward the Carolinas. Typically, hurricanes moving toward the U.S. curve northward, but this system blocked Florence’s path.

N.Y.

N.Y.

PA.

PA.

W.VA.

VA.

TENN.

TENN.

N.C.

N.C.

S.C.

S.C.

ALA.

GA.

GA.

ALA.

Wednesday

As the storm hurtles toward the U.S., Florence could become trapped between these wind systems, leaving it nowhere to go. That could lead to stalling, which could increase damage due to precipitation and flooding.

Thursday

It’s unclear how the wind tug-of-war will play out. The wind system over the central U.S. might have more of an influence over Florence’s trajectory Thursday and Friday. Eventually, the storm is expected to head north toward West Virginia. Once over land, it will lose steam.

N.Y.

N.Y.

PA.

PA.

W.VA.

W.VA.

VA.

VA.

TENN.

TENN.

N.C.

N.C.

S.C.

S.C.

GA.

ALA.

GA.

ALA.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Tuesday

Another high-pressure system over the central U.S. prevented Florence from moving north.

Monday

A strong high-pressure system of winds to the north forced Florence west, toward the Carolinas. Typically, hurricanes moving toward the U.S. curve northward, but this system blocked Florence’s path.

N.Y.

N.Y.

PA.

PA.

W.VA.

VA.

TENN.

TENN.

N.C.

N.C.

S.C.

S.C.

ALA.

GA.

GA.

ALA.

Wednesday

As the storm hurtles toward the U.S., Florence could become trapped between these wind systems, leaving it nowhere to go. That could lead to stalling, which could increase damage due to precipitation and flooding.

Thursday

It’s unclear how the wind tug-of-war will play out. The wind system over the central U.S. might have more of an influence over Florence’s trajectory Thursday and Friday. Eventually, the storm is expected to head north toward West Virginia. Once over land, it will lose steam.

N.Y.

N.Y.

PA.

PA.

W.VA.

W.VA.

VA.

VA.

TENN.

TENN.

N.C.

N.C.

S.C.

S.C.

GA.

ALA.

GA.

ALA.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Tuesday

Another high-pressure system over the central U.S. prevented Florence from moving north.

Monday

A strong high-pressure system of winds to the north forced Florence west, toward the Carolinas. Typically, hurricanes moving toward the U.S. curve northward, but this system blocked Florence’s path.

N.Y.

N.Y.

PA.

PA.

W.VA.

VA.

TENN.

TENN.

N.C.

N.C.

S.C.

S.C.

ALA.

GA.

GA.

ALA.

Wednesday

As the storm hurtles toward the U.S., Florence could become trapped between these wind systems, leaving it nowhere to go. That could lead to stalling, which could increase damage due to precipitation and flooding.

Thursday

It’s unclear how the wind tug-of-war will play out. The wind system over the central U.S. might have more of an influence over Florence’s trajectory Thursday and Friday. Eventually, the storm is expected to head north toward West Virginia. Once over land, it will lose steam.

N.Y.

N.Y.

PA.

PA.

W.VA.

W.VA.

VA.

VA.

TENN.

TENN.

N.C.

N.C.

S.C.

S.C.

GA.

ALA.

ALA.

GA.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Monday

A strong high-pressure system of winds to the north forced Florence west, toward the Carolinas. Typically, hurricanes moving toward the U.S. curve northward, but this system blocked Florence’s path.

N.Y.

PA.

TENN.

N.C.

S.C.

ALA.

GA.

Tuesday

Another high-pressure system over the central U.S. prevented Florence from moving north.

N.Y.

PA.

W.VA.

VA.

TENN.

N.C.

S.C.

GA.

ALA.

Wednesday

As the storm hurtles toward the U.S., Florence could become trapped between these wind systems, leaving it nowhere to go. That could lead to stalling, which could increase damage due to precipitation and flooding.

N.Y.

PA.

W.VA.

VA.

TENN.

N.C.

S.C.

GA.

ALA.

Thursday

It’s unclear how the wind tug-of-war will play out. The wind system over the central U.S. might have more of an influence over Florence’s trajectory Thursday and Friday. Eventually, the storm is expected to head north toward West Virginia. Once over land, it will lose steam.

N.Y.

PA.

W.VA.

VA.

TENN.

N.C.

S.C.

ALA.

GA.

The storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., at about 7:15 a.m. on Friday, beginning its dayslong deluge.

By that afternoon, the National Hurricane Center had downgraded Florence to a tropical storm due to its slow wind—but didn’t change its warnings of storm surges, flooding and heavy rainfall. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power.

Powerless

As of Saturday evening, nearly 9 percent of the more than 5 million customers served by major electricity providers in the Carolinas remained without power.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Percent reporting power outages

12%

10

8

6

4

7:00 a.m. Friday

Hurricane Florence makes landfall

2

Noon

Noon

By late Monday, about 390,000 power customers were still offline in North Carolina, according to utilities in the state. Hard-hit Duke Energy Corp. said it had restored power to more than 1.2 million customers. The storm caused more power problems as it moved north.

Finding temporary housing for thousands of North Carolinians displaced by Florence could prove more difficult than it was for those uprooted by other recent U.S. storms and hurricanes.

That is because Florence’s path blew through some of the state’s smaller cities, where much of the rental housing stock is owned by mom-and-pop landlords.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Rescue personnel use a small boat as they go house to house checking for flood victims from Florence in New Bern, N.C. Photo: Steve Helber/Associated Press

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Kim Adams makes her way to her home that is surrounded by floodwaters after Florence in Southport, N.C. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hurricanes that menace the Carolinas usually follow a similar pattern: first moving toward Caribbean islands and then heading north off the east coast of Florida and Georgia, often weakening as they pull in dry continental air.

Not Florence, which barreled across open ocean straight to the Southeast U.S.

Dangerous Paths

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Atlantic storms that made landfall in the contiguous U.S. as a Category 3 or higher, since 1960

MAINE

Category at first U.S. landfall

Category 5

N.Y.

MASS.

Category 4

Category 3

PA.

N.J.

Wind speeds (mph)

MD.

DEL.

<111

>156

VA.

N.C.

Donna (1960)

Diana (1984)

S.C.

Fran (1996)

ALA.

GA.

MISS.

TEXAS

LA.

FLA.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Atlantic storms that made landfall in the contiguous U.S. as a Category 3 or higher, since 1960

MAINE

Category at first U.S. landfall

Category 5

N.Y.

MASS.

Category 4

Category 3

PA.

N.J.

Wind speeds (mph)

MD.

DEL.

<111

>156

VA.

N.C.

Donna (1960)

Diana (1984)

S.C.

Fran (1996)

MISS.

ALA.

GA.

TEXAS

LA.

FLA.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Atlantic storms that made landfall in the contiguous U.S. as a Category 3 or higher, since 1960

MAINE

Category at first U.S. landfall

Category 5

N.Y.

MASS.

Category 4

Category 3

PA.

N.J.

Wind speeds (mph)

MD.

DEL.

<111

>156

VA.

N.C.

Donna (1960)

Diana (1984)

S.C.

GA.

Fran (1996)

ALA.

MISS.

TEXAS

LA.

FLA.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Atlantic storms that made landfall in the contiguous U.S. as a Category 3 or higher, since 1960

Category at first U.S. landfall

Category 4

Category 3

Category 5

Wind speeds (mph)

>156

111-129

<111

130-156

MAINE

N.Y.

PA.

MD.

VA.

N.C.

S.C.

GA.

ALA.

MISS.

LA.

TEXAS

FLA.

North and South Carolina have been subject to some of the most damaging hurricanes to hit the U.S. since the 1950s.

Many of those—including Agnes, Fran and Floyd—followed the more south-to-north track. Hurricane Hugo, which followed a similar route as Florence, caused damages estimated at $8 billion in 1989.

Catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide pegs Hurricane Florence’s wind and storm surge damage, in an early estimate, at $1.7 billion to $4.6 billion. The estimate includes damage to insured property including homes, cars and commercial buildings, as well as additional living expenses for homeowners and business interruption for businesses.

In heavily flooded New Bern, N.C., City Manager Mark Stephens said the storm has caused at least $6 million in damage. Preliminary estimates show about 4,300 homes and at least 300 businesses were damaged or destroyed by the storm, he said at a news conference Monday.

Visual Coverage of Hurricane Florence: The Huge, Slow-Moving Storm

Bill Wheeler makes a video recording of the damage to his store, Nautical Wheelers, after the storm surge from Florence filled it with 4 feet of water in New Bern, N.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images