IND - Hurricane Florence live - Live coverage - The Independent

IND - Hurricane Florence live

    A pastor at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, has offered a special prayer for those in the path of the storm.
    9/12/2018 12:48:15 PM
    Some 1,000 energy company workers are preparing to help restore power after Florence hits, according to US media reports.
     
    Duke Energy is sending them, according to 10News WTSP.
     
    The same company has said operators plan to begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive.
    9/12/2018 12:41:13 PM
    Greetings from Washington DC where residents in the nation's capital are watching out for a weekend deluge as a result of Florence - though obviously nothing on the scale in the Carolinas. Mr Trump appeared very confident about his government's readiness when he spoke to reporters. He said it was “absolutely, totally prepared”.
    9/12/2018 12:37:41 PM
    9/12/2018 12:28:21 PM
    The NHC has issued its 8am advisory notice. Here are a few details:
     
    • Maximum sustained winds are about 130mph, as at 5am, and the storm is moving west-north-west at about 17mph. The motion is expected to continue throughout the morning before the storm turns north-west
    • The storm is expected to slow down considerably by late on Thursday into Friday, and move slowly until early on Saturday
    • Florence remains a Category 4 storm
    • Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the centre, a slight decrease from earlier
    • Sea swells generated by the storm are already affecting Bermuda and parts of the US East Coast. They are likely to create "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions"
    • Storm surge warnings - meaning residents must get away or risk death - are in force for South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina; and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers
     
    A US Air Force reconnaissance plane is currently investigating the hurricane, the agency added.
    9/12/2018 12:10:45 PM
    9/12/2018 11:59:09 AM
    Donald Trump speaks to the American people in a video posted to Twitter (White House)
     
    Donald Trump has issued a video message to Americans, warning them to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, and not to "play games with it".
     
    While disaster relief agency FEMA and others were "fully prepared" for the storm's aftermath, Florence was "maybe as big as they've seen", Mr Trump said.
     
     
    If you are at work or can't watch the video, here is a transcript.
     
    Mr Trump said: "Hurricane Florence is fast approaching, it's going to be here over the next 48 hours, and they say it's about as big as they've seen coming to this country, and certainly to the East Coast, as they've ever seen.
     
    "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able, we've got the finest people, I think, anywhere in the world. FEMA and first responders, they're out there, they're going to stand through the danger of this storm.
     
    "Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen, and tremendous amounts of water.
     
    "The storm will come, it will go, we want everybody to be safe. We're fully prepared, food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready.
     
    "But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size. It's called Mother Nature, you never know. But we know, we love you all, we want you safe, get out of the storm's way, listen to your local representatives.
     
    "South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, it's heading your way, it's probably not going to change path, its going to be hitting pretty soon. Be ready and God be with you."
    9/12/2018 11:25:13 AM
    9/12/2018 11:03:01 AM
    9/12/2018 10:57:38 AM
    9/12/2018 10:43:16 AM
    Sailors aboard the Royal Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, have described how they are monitoring Hurricane Florence and keeping out of its way.
     
    The 65,000-tonne carrier is currently in Florida along with the Type-23 frigate HMS Monmouth, some way south of where the storm is expected to hit.
     
    "What we do is collate all the atmosphere information and oceanography software and we'll decide where the highest sea-states are and where it's safe to go to avoid those high winds and high sea-states," Petty Officer James Jones said.
     
     
    Earlier this week, Florida police were forced to use Tasers on Royal Navy personnel ashore in Jacksonville after they brawled among themselves.
     

    Florida police 'use Taser on drunk and disorderly Royal Navy sailors'

    'They beat the mess out of each other and fight each other more than anything, but once they pick up their teeth off the ground they are best friends'
    9/12/2018 10:22:12 AM
    Global warming has been blamed for the phenomenon of slow-moving weather systems that deluge affected areas with rain and cause devastating floods.
     
    Here is our reporter Joe Sommerlad with more:
     
    9/12/2018 10:03:16 AM
    People queue to enter a hurricane shelter at Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina, on 11 September, 2018 (AFP/Getty)
     
    9/12/2018 9:47:32 AM
    9/12/2018 9:31:18 AM
    Hurricane trackers' latest forecast for Florence's movements is as follows, per the NHC:
     
    "Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h).  A motion toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected through Thursday.
     
    "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move through early Saturday.
     
    "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday."
    9/12/2018 9:12:25 AM
    The NHC has explained how it believes storm surges will affect coastal areas.
     
    It said: "The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
     
    "Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances."
     
    The surges will range in height from 2ft to 13ft, it said.
     
    The agency warned people in areas under a storm surge warning: "This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.
     
    "Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials."
     
    Those warnings are in place for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to South Santee River, and from North of Duck, North Carolina, to that state's border with Virginia.
     
    The body also appeared to have updated the amount of rain it estimated Florence would dump on the eastern seaboard, suggesting the maximum amount in isolated areas would be 40in, up from 35in - meaning more than a metre of rain.
     
    A further update is expected in another three hours' time.
    9/12/2018 9:08:04 AM
    The NHC's latest advisory notice has been released. A few quick details:
     
     Florence remains a Category 4 storm
    • Maximum sustained winds of 130mph, down from 140
    • Strengthening still predicted throughout tonight
    • Breadth of hurricane-force winds is now 75 miles from centre, up from 60 miles
    • Florence will make landfall as an "extremely dangerous major hurricane"
     
    More shortly
    9/12/2018 9:00:00 AM
    Here, our video team brings you extraordinary footage of Florence captured aboard 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
    9/12/2018 8:44:29 AM
    The National Hurricane Centre's latest update on Hurricane Florence is expected a little under half an hour.
    9/12/2018 8:34:23 AM
    Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has examined what implications Hurricanes Isaac and Florence have for people voyaging to, from, or around the US East Coast and the Caribbean.
     

    What Hurricane Florence means for travel to the US and the Caribbean

    Every long-distance train in the affected states has been cancelled up to and including Sunday
    9/12/2018 8:28:19 AM
    Traffic is heavy moving westward from the evacuation zones.
     
    Yesterday authorities partially reversed the flow on major highways, making them one-way.
     

    Thousands of cars fill evacuation routes out of US coastal areas as Hurricane Florence approaches

    Long lines forming at service stations as motorists run out of fuel
    9/12/2018 8:05:41 AM
    A poignant image amid the calm before the storm.
     
    Caitie Sweeney of Myrtle Beach texts her family while visiting the beach ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence (Reuters)
     
    9/12/2018 7:50:13 AM
    Summer vacation and rental properties sit vulnerable beside the ocean, in Buxton, North Carolina (AP, File photo)
     
    "We're as ready as we can be," the mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina, has said of hurricane preparations in his city - which is likely to take a direct hit from Florence.
     
    Wilmington is one of the areas people have been told to evacuate before the Category 4 storm strikes on Thursday.
     
    Bill Saffo added, in an interview with CNN: "The thing that I want to make sure that citizens know is that once this storm is upon us, we're not going to be able to send emergency personnel out to save you or to help you.
     
    "You have to heed those warnings to get out of harm's way."
     
    Despite all that, 65-year-old Liz Browning Fox plans to ride the storm out in the Outer Banks village of Buxton, North Carolina, despite a mandatory evacuation order. Her 88-year-old mother refused to evacuate and will stay with her.

    "Everyone who is staying here is either a real old timer, someone who doesn't know where would be better, or someone involved in emergency operations one way or another," said Fox.
     
    Buxton lies on a tiny island about 180 miles north-east of Wilmington.
    9/12/2018 7:40:18 AM
    Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas, is submerged following heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey, in August 2017 (Reuters, File photo)
     
    More on the predicted "catastrophic" flash flooding predicted by the NHC and a looming environmental disaster.
     
    Reports suggest that some areas could be hit by nearly 4ft - 45in - of rain in the coming days. One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45in (115cm)  in parts of North Carolina.
     
    The model was accurate in predicting 60in (150cm) for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area in the face of scepticism in the US, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't," University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.
     
    Rain measured in feet is "looking likely," he said. 
     
    When that storm struck Houston, Texas, in August last year, people were forced to climb onto their roofs to escape floodwaters that swept away cars and rose above the height of road signs.
     
    This year it is feared torrential rain from Hurricane Florence could cause an environmental disaster in North Carolina, where waste from pig manure pits, coal ash dumps and other industrial sites could wash into homes and threaten drinking water supplies. 
     
    The eastern part of the state is a fertile, low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks.
     
    High tides from Hurricane Hazel cause devastation in this 1954 image from Swansboro, North Carolina
     
    In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd came ashore near Cape Fear as a Category 2 storm that dumped about 2 feet of water on a region already soaked days earlier by Hurricane Dennis.
     
    The result was the worst natural disaster in state history, a flood that killed dozens of people and left whole towns underwater, their residents stranded on rooftops.

    The bloated carcasses of hundreds of thousands of pigs, chickens and other drowned livestock bobbed in a nose-stinging soup of fecal matter, pesticides, fertilizer and gasoline so toxic that fish flopped helplessly on the surface to escape it.

    Florence is forecast to make landfall in the same region as a much stronger storm.
     
    Several nuclear power plants also lie in the storm's path, though operators plan to shut them down at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive.
     
    Additional reporting by AP
    9/12/2018 7:21:02 AM
    Via the Associated Press, one example of how the mass evacuation as affected basic supplies:
     
    Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to take back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina. Finding fuel for the journey was tough. 

    "This morning I drove around for an hour looking for gas in Cary. Everyone was sold out," she said. 
    9/12/2018 7:01:42 AM
    More details from the NHC's latest update:
     
    •Florence is moving at about 17mph and has maximum sustained winds of 140mph with higher gusts
    • It is about 625 miles south-east of Cape Fear, North Carolina
    • Storm is predicted to approach coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday
    • "Strengthening is forecast through today. While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it approaches the US coast"
    • Hurricane-force winds extend up to 60 miles from Florence's centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 175 miles
    • Storm surges could reach up to 13ft above ground level
    • "Catastrophic flash flooding" expected from heavy rain that will last into next week. In isolated areas up to 35in of rain is feared, with between 15in and 25in forecast elsewhere
    • "Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion" because tropical storm-force winds are expected to hit the coast by Thursday
    9/12/2018 6:44:54 AM
    9/12/2018 6:20:34 AM
    Here is the latest predicted path for Hurricane Florence, via the National Hurricane Centre. This is the agency's 2am update - more details to come.
     
     
    9/12/2018 6:20:26 AM
    President Trump said Tuesday he expected Congress to approve funds for disaster relief following landfall of Hurricane Florence on the Atlantic coast.

    ​"We’ll go to Congress. Congress will be very generous," Mr Trump said in the Oval Office.
    9/12/2018 5:56:42 AM
    9/12/2018 5:34:34 AM
    Mr Trump caused some consternation with his remarks that the efforts in helping Puerto Rico with hurricane Maria were "incredible" - despite what is believed to be nearly 3,000 deaths
     
    9/12/2018 5:12:42 AM
    9/12/2018 4:52:34 AM
    Airlines are beginning to cancel flights ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall later this week. 

    And Charleston International Airport in South Carolina is tweeting that it expects runways to close by midnight Wednesday as it monitors Hurricane Florence. 
     
    Jacksonville Airport in North Carolina has already closed.
    9/12/2018 4:30:34 AM

    The American Red Cross has said more than 700 workers were headed to the target area while shelters were set up to take in those who could not evacuate. A hospital in Hampton, Virginia, was transferring patients to safer places.

    President Donald Trump has signed declarations of emergency for North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, freeing up federal resources for storm response.

    9/12/2018 4:08:34 AM
    9/12/2018 3:46:42 AM
    9/12/2018 3:24:34 AM
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has delivered eight million meals and bottles of water to the Carolinas and Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Florence's landfall.
    9/12/2018 3:02:42 AM
    9/12/2018 2:40:34 AM
    More than 5.4 million people on US East Coast under hurricane warnings or watches, National Weather Service has said.
    9/12/2018 2:05:34 AM
    9/12/2018 1:34:03 AM
    For those thinking the storm may change course and move aware from its current path, FEMA administrator Brock Long said at the White House that that was unlikely:

    "​Unfortunately, I believe there's quite a bit of certainty in the track forecast because the forward speed is picking up.  It's getting faster.  And when systems do that, the track forecast becomes a lot more accurate.  And I think the expectation needs to be set with the citizens in this area that, if you've been asked to leave, get out of the areas that are going to flood, and get into a facility that can withstand the winds."
    9/12/2018 1:12:42 AM
    9/12/2018 12:50:42 AM
    9/12/2018 12:28:42 AM
    “We are in a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence, and what Team South Carolina is doing is trying to stay one step ahead,” said the state’s governor, Henry McMaster about the storm. “It takes 36 to 48 hours to evacuate the coast.”
    9/12/2018 12:06:42 AM

    Airbnb activated its "Open Homes" program Tuesday to allow its hosts to offer free temporary housing to Hurricane Florence evacuees and first responders.

    Since Airbnb activated the programme, more than 130 hosts have offered housing to Hurricane Florence evacuees, emergency relief workers and volunteers.

    9/11/2018 11:44:42 PM
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