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Hurricane Florence's Projected Path Makes 'Unusual' Shift

The storm may turn left
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
Hurricane Florence's Projected Path Makes 'Unusual' Shift
South Carolina state troopers work with DOT employees at an access ramp to I-26 on Tuesday in Columbia, SC. A lane reversal was implemented earlier in the day, utilizing all lanes for travel west between Charleston and Columbia in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Florence.   (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

(Newser) – Hurricane Florence is still expected to make landfall in the Carolinas, but from there the path may be changing. USA Today reports the storm had been predicted to amble northward but may now instead slow and twist toward the left, putting South Carolina in greater jeopardy (see this map). "The NHC track has been adjusted southward ... and additional southward adjustment may be warranted in future advisories," the National Hurricane Center wrote in a Wednesday morning forecast discussion. Weather Channel host Greg Postel tweeted, "The scenario that #HurricaneFlorence stalls near the coast and then parallels it southwestward toward Georgia .... isn't unrealistic. I've never seen anything like this."

  • Indeed, the State reports the National Weather Service's Wednesday morning update showed the turn would happen after the storm made landfall, and it quotes Weather Channel meteorologist Jen Carfagno as describing the angle as "unusual."
  • CNN meteorologist Chad Myers' take following the updated advisory: "More people are involved in this now—especially even Myrtle Beach, because the storm was not (previously) forecast to turn left toward you."

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  • As for the timing of it all, CNN reports tropical-storm-force winds could hit North Carolina's coast by noon Thursday, with storm surges following that night. The pause and turn is currently predicted to happen late Friday; CNN notes it's possible landfall won't occur until Saturday (again, this map shows the storm only moving a short distance between 2am Friday and 2am Saturday).
  • The time to flee is rapidly shrinking, reports the New York Times, which echoes CNN in saying those tropical-storm-force winds may extend 175 miles from Florence's center and reach land by Thursday morning. It repeats the National Hurricane Center's warning: "Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion."
  • The Times notes the storm's maximum sustained winds are currently clocking in at 130mph, with expectations that number will increase. For the storm to be classified Category 5, they'd need to hit 157mph.
  • CBS News on Tuesday cited an analysis by CoreLogic that put the possible financial toll of Hurricane Florence at $170 billion, with roughly 750,000 homes and businesses damaged. That would outpace Hurricane Katrina ($161 billion in losses) and Hurricane Harvey ($125 billion).
  • CBS News also takes a look at the home insurance situation, noting homeowners are well past the window for adding flood insurance, which has a 30-day waiting period. Wind damage is usually covered, but it notes that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many insurers tweaked their policies to bump up deductibles and limit coverage, especially in the event the damage is caused by a hurricane.
(Read more Hurricane Florence stories.)

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