IND - Hurricane Florence live - Live coverage - The Independent

IND - Hurricane Florence live

    9/11/2018 11:22:42 PM
    9/11/2018 11:00:42 PM

    Ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina, will shut down Wednesday in preparation for Hurricane Florence, according to Cmdr. Bion Stewart of the US Coast Guard Sector North Carolina.

    Six hundred people with the Coast Guard sector are immediately available to assist with additional resources, and teams are ready to respond to shallow water rescues, he said.

    Because their station in Wilmington is subject to flooding, they will move their incident post to Seymore Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. They started moving resources outside of the area a week ago in preparation for the storm, Stewart said.

    9/11/2018 10:40:42 PM
    Even military bases in the path of the storm are evacuating family and non-essential personnel in preparation for Florence. Among them include the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. 
    Fort Bragg, the largest installation in the storm path but further inland, will remain on high alert. 
    9/11/2018 10:18:01 PM
    Baltimore, Maryland, has also advised residents to be ready to live without electricity for 7 days after the state declared a state of emergency over fears of tropical-force winds and "storm surge" rain and flooding. 
    9/11/2018 10:09:01 PM
    Chris Murphy, the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, hit out the president for saying the federal government's response to Hurricane Maria was "successful". 
    9/11/2018 9:50:01 PM
    But it's not just coal ash pits flooding which are a concern, though many in North Carolina in particular are near bodies of water or in low-lying coastal areas.
    Lagoons, or pits treated to hold livestock manure, could also get flooded. 
    Pig waste, in particular, is safer to hold in these lagoons before being used to help crop growth. 
    One-eighth of American pig production takes place in North Carolina, much of it in or near the coastal region. 
    In 1999, Hurricane Floyd dumped 20 inches of rain on the state, killing pigs and hogs in the tens of thousands. 
    Lagoons were flooded, bringing waste pollution to waterways all over the state. 
    9/11/2018 9:41:01 PM
    Another concern besides flooding is Florence's possible effect on public health. 
    In New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2004, stagnant flood waters brought disease. In Houston last year, Hurricane Harvey there were concerns about flooding of a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxic "superfund" site, part of the agency's programme responsible for cleaning the country's most contaminated areas and responding to environmental emergencies, oil spills, and natural disasters.
    Now, Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, told Bloomberg News: "coal-ash sites are very vulnerable to this hurricane".
    Coal ash is a byproduct of burning coal for power generation and it contains toxic heavy metals like arsenic and mercury if they make their way into drinking water supplies. 
    9/11/2018 9:31:01 PM
    Mr Long, head of Fema, explained how the storm has the "opportunity of being a very devastating storm" in the Oval Office with Donald Trump
    The president said the storm is "tremendously big and tremendously wet".
    9/11/2018 8:42:58 PM
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) has said Florence could knock out power in the region "for weeks". 
    Fema administrator Brock Long said: "This has an opportunity of being a very devastating storm. The power will be off for weeks. You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas. There will be flooding in the inland areas as well."
    The "monster" storm, as North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper called it, may result in a situation officials hope will not be as bad as the disaster which Puerto Ricans suffered through after Hurricane Maria
    Wide swathes of the island had no electricity for months after that storm as Fema was widely criticised for being unprepared and unable to adapt quickly enough to help residents in their greatest areas of need. 
    It was America's deadliest storm - while death tolls varied at first Governor Ricardo Rosello confirmed it stands at 2,975 people. 
    Donald Trump said it Fema and the federal government were "incredibly successful" in their response to it.  
    9/11/2018 8:31:13 PM
    The National Weather Service has been sending periodic safety reminders on social media for those in Florence's path. 
    As police directed highways to be one-way, leading away from the coasts of North and South Carolina, NWS cautions motorists to never drive through floodwaters. "The road you think you know, may not be there anymore". 
    Forecasters have said heavy rains and flooding are expected in the 'storm surge' which will likely lead to infrastructure damage and downed power lines. 
    9/11/2018 8:07:22 PM
    While South Carolina have urged everyone in the path of Florence to evacuate to safer ground, there are those planning on sticking it out. 
    In Jasper County, 934 inmates and more than a hundred staff at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution are staying put according to South Carolina Department of Corrections spokesperson Dexter Lee, speaking to The State newspaper. 
    Mr Lee said: "“Right now, we’re not in the process of moving inmates. In the past, it’s been safer to leave them there.”
    This is despite the medium-security facility and another - MacDougall Correctional Facility located in Berkeley County - falling squarely in the most dangerous area, flagged for evacuation by emergency management authorities. 
    During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, one inmate at Ridgeland died but then-Governor Nikki Haley said it was unrelated to the storm. 
    Virginia, however, has evacuated inmates from Indian Creek Correctional Center because it is in Chesapeake, Virginia - an area designated as at risk for flooding. 
    In North Carolina, at least eight correctional facilities will likely be evacuated before Florence makes landfall. 
    9/11/2018 7:45:44 PM
    9/11/2018 7:26:40 PM
    It has been a busy day for the president. He has cancelled a planned trip to Ireland, although the White House say discussions are still taking place about whether a stop in Ireland will take place as part of a larger European tour.
    9/11/2018 7:12:40 PM
    Away from the path of Hurricane Florence, Donald Trump was involved in the memorial for the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 as part of the commemorations of the 9/11 attacks.

    However, a fist-pump given to supporters as he arrived in Pennsylvania sparked a backlash about inappropriate behaviour on such a solemn day.
    9/11/2018 6:57:30 PM
    Many have expressed concern for the small population of wild horses that remain in North Carolina. There are currently no plans to evacuate the animals as it is expected they will manage to avoid the storm. Given the species' hundreds of years in the area, they are used to strong storms and difficult weather.
    9/11/2018 6:40:04 PM
    In response to the pending storm, Amtrak has waived charges for reservation changes and so have several airlines. 
    The waivers are limited to travellers expected to arrive or depart from airports in Florence's expected path for example in North Carolina: Raleigh/Durham, Asheville, Charlotte and in South Carolina: Myrtle Beach and Greenville/Spartanburg. Other airports like Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia, as well as Savannah, Georgia. 
    Locations covered vary by airline and it is best to check with the airline's website for the special Florence waiver. Generally the dates covered include 11 to 16/17 September. 
    9/11/2018 6:18:03 PM
    And in South Carolina, the local ABC News station has provided a list of emergency shelters for those forced to evacuate: 
    9/11/2018 5:58:16 PM
    If you're in the area affected by the storm, here is a list of shelters in each North Carolina county provided by a local news station: 
    9/11/2018 5:52:33 PM
    In North Carolina, a particularly at-risk part of the state are the barrier islands of the popular holiday destination, the Outer Banks. 
    Governor Roy Cooper ordered an evacuation of the islands, the first-of-its-kind for the area. 
    Generally, local governments are responsible for such orders, but Mr Cooper felt Florence would be "so fierce" he decided the state should do it so people would listen and leave. 
    9/11/2018 5:41:32 PM
    While the storm is expected to mostly impact south of the region, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has just declared a state of emergency for the district as Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan join suit. 
    Maryland and Virginia have low-lying coastal areas to the east and south, particularly prone to flooding if Florence is expected to make landfall at its current strength. 
    Hospitals in the region have been put on high alert and the emergency authorisations allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) to assist financially and otherwise. 
    Amtrak, the rail system running up and down the eastern corridor, has cancelled all trains along the seaboard and waiving charges for those requiring a change in ticket. 
    9/11/2018 5:26:23 PM
    Hurricane Florence could be the deadliest storm to hit North and South Carolina since Hazel in 1851. 
    9/11/2018 5:17:51 PM
    The National Hurricane Center has the latest prediction and the path and size of the storm. It says Florence's "tropical-storm-force winds" could arrive as early as Wednesday evening. 

    9/11/2018 5:08:07 PM
    Forecasters are predicting that Hurricane Florence may take a cue from 2017's Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas and unloaded torrential rains on the area.
    Florence could linger for several days, forecasters predict, which could bring between 15 and 20 inches of rain to areas in the Carolinas and Virginia. In some isolated areas, residents could see as much as 30 inches of rain during that time.
    The NHC says that "could produce catastrophic flash flooding".
    Here's how Harvey played out last year: In August of that year, the storm made landfall in Texas on San Jose Island before slowing its roll to a glacial pace and essentially stopping over Houston. That brought the most significant rainfall event for a US city in recorded history, with some parts of the Houston area receiving nearly 33 inches of rain during that period of time.
    9/11/2018 4:36:23 PM
    Onslow County, North Carolina, has issued a mandatory evacuation order ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Florence. The order is set to go into effect on Tuesday morning.
    The declaration for the county — which contains Jacksonville and has a population of over 186,000 — marks the latest coastal county in the state to tell residents and tourists to get away from the coast where deadly storm surges could wreak havoc.
    Other counties in the state with evacuation orders of varying degrees include Carteret County, Hyde County, Pamlico County, North Topsail Beach, and Dare County.
    9/11/2018 3:59:16 PM
    The latest from the National Hurricane Centre indicates that there is a hurricane watch on virtually all of the North Carolina and South Carolina coastline, and that Florence will bring "damaging hurricane-force winds" to those areas.
    Those damaging effects could spread further inland, and may even reach Virginia, according to NHC.
    9/11/2018 3:53:00 PM
    Washington, DC, has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall in the southeast United States on Thursday.
    The declaration puts the district in line with several other states that have taken similar measures, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia. The declarations free up funding for emergency response during natural disasters.
    9/11/2018 3:22:46 PM
    9/11/2018 3:15:23 PM
    Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said traffic out of the South Carolina city has more than quadrupled as residents and visitors evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence — but she wants even more people to leave the coast.
    “We are seeing people leaving town. We have a four- to six-time increase of traffic heading out of Myrtle Beach, but it needs to be much more than that,” she told CNN.“
    9/11/2018 2:41:39 PM
    Scientists are closing tracking the hurricane, here is a report on scientists trying to get a sense of the storm from the air.
    9/11/2018 2:33:39 PM
    9/11/2018 1:58:37 PM

    Even though Hurricane Florence is still almost 1,000 miles away from the coast, tides are already running over a foot above normal in parts of North Carolina as the ocean begins to swell in advance of the storm. 

    This is even leading to some coastal flooding in extremely low-lying areas.

    9/11/2018 1:50:33 PM
    Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 mph (209 kph) winds in 1954. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and killed 19 people in North Carolina. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.
    9/11/2018 1:16:21 PM
    The very centre of hurricane  may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Tuesday's 7-day rainfall forecast showed 20 inches or more falling there, part of a wide swath of rainfall that could total ten inches or more over much of Virginia and drench the nation's capital. Some isolated areas could get 30 inches, forecasters said.
    9/11/2018 12:43:04 PM
    Florence is currently about 950 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, the NHC has said.
    Maximum sustained winds are about 130mph and, although the storm has weakened slightly, trackers expect it to regain strength over the next day or so.
    The new data comes from a reconnaissance aircraft.
    9/11/2018 12:16:13 PM
    Retailers in North Carolina have been warned not to hike prices on key supplies ahead of Hurricane Florence's impact.
    Josh Stein, the state's attorney general, warned companies and shopkeepers that a law against "price-gouging" had been brought into effect by the governor's declaration of a state of emergency on Friday.
    “My office is here to protect North Carolinians from scams and frauds,” he said in a statement.
    “That is true all the time, but especially during severe weather. It is against the law to charge an excessive price during a state of emergency.
    “If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, either before or after it hits, please let my office know so we can hold them accountable.”
    It came as images from neighbouring South Carolina showed supermarket shelves barren after shoppers rushed to stock up on essentials like bottled water.
    9/11/2018 12:00:05 PM
    Astronauts have captured footage of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station.

    This is what Hurricane Florence looks like from space

    Mandatory evacuations ordered as millions of Americans brace for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades
    9/11/2018 11:30:58 AM
    9/11/2018 11:13:31 AM
    Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence may extend "hundreds of miles" inland once the storm smashes into the east coast and slows down, the NHC has said.
    9/11/2018 10:33:56 AM
    9/11/2018 10:15:21 AM
    9/11/2018 10:02:16 AM
    Here is the NHC's latest predictions for Florence's path.
    Issued at 5am Atlantic Standard Time by the National Hurricane Centre
    9/11/2018 9:29:40 AM
    The National Hurricane Centre has just issued a fresh advisory notice for Hurricane Florence.
    It says:
    • A storm surge watch has been issued for the east coast stretching from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, all the way north to the North Carolina border with Virginia
    • A hurricane watch has been issued for the same stretch of coastline
    • "Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence"
    • Maximum sustained winds remain at about 140mph and are expected to strengthen. Florence is expected to remain "extremely dangerous" up to Thursday night
    • "A west-northwestward to north-westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days"
    • Landfall expected between Thursday and Friday after the storm moves between Bermuda and the Bahamas
    The storm surges - a rise in sea level prompted by atmospheric pressure changes - caused by Florence in the next 48 hours are expected to be "life-threatening", the NHC said.
    In places the rises could be up to 12ft (4m) high "if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide".
    9/11/2018 9:05:18 AM
    Hurricane Florence is a "beast" of a storm, according to an American scientific pilot who has flown through it a number of times on monitoring missions.
    Florence is "on par with" the destructive hurricanes Irma and Maria that caused widespread damage last year, and getting "stronger and stronger by the minute", said Justin Kibbey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    He added in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper: "Our first flight Saturday, Florence was just under hurricane strength, and then Sunday it was just over hurricane strength, and today [Monday] it was a Category 4 storm.
    "It's what they call rapid intensification, so the storm has really got its act together and is just a heck of a storm out there."
    9/11/2018 8:33:21 AM
    Nasa has released a stunning satellite image of the three hurricanes currently swirling over the Atlantic.
    Florence, Isaac and Helene can be seen clearly in the image acquired by the agency's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite aboard the Suomi satellite.
    The photo shows Florida in the top left, with Cuba largely obscured by cloud and the northern part of Latin America including Brazil visible in the lower left. Spain and the Sahara desert can be seen on the right.
    A handout photo made available by Nasa on 11 September, 2018 (EPA)
    9/11/2018 8:11:20 AM
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