Strong winds, rain and a huge "wall" of water are some of the possible developments of Hurricane Florence, which is moving toward the east coast of the United States and arriving in the region on Thursday, September 13. It has lost strength (ranged from category 4 to 2), but even so, US officials are urging people not to "drop their guard," since there's still potential for serious destruction.
Five south eastern states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia, as well as Washington DC have already declared a state of emergency and are guiding residents to prepare to reduce the impacts of the natural phenomenon.
What Might Happen?
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Florence has lost strength as it approaches the continent, reaching Category 2. At this level, the hurricane causes waves up to 2.5 meters higher, and tear off roofs and even send smaller homes or cars flying!
Despite the lower rate, the storm is increasing in size, meaning that it will reach even more people. "Hurricane-force winds extend 130 km far from the center and tropical storm force winds extend up to 315 km," according to the weather service.
If Florence regained its strength and reaches category 4 which is not expected at the moment according to the authorities, the winds could reach 210 to 249 km / h. For this reason, windows that are not protected by plywood become more susceptible to breakage and objects that are loose in the streets can be dragged and blown away.
Anyway, the storm and wind combo alerts the population to continue to seek safe options to tackle the phenomenon, such as avoiding leaving home and preparing to stay for a few days without electricity.
A "Mike Tyson Punch"
"It's not going to be one of those storms that hits and goes back to sea. This is going to be Mike Tyson's punch off the Carolina coast," said Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator Jeff Feard, Wednesday, at a press conference.
"This has the potential to become the record for a recorded storm in North Carolina," A Western Carolina University coastal geology professor Robert Young told CNBC.
"If it remains that way, it could break records of storm surges and cause a significant amount of damage to the coast," he said on Wednesday.
A Water "Wall"
Defined as coastal flooding, the storm surge (or storm surge) may happen if it returns to initial force.
It is caused primarily by storm winds that push the water into the sea or toward the coast, in which case it can form a "water wall" of 20 feet high, a movement that can "swallow" part of the coast of the country, devastating what lies ahead.
Florence, according to Fema, will cause flash floods and overflowing rivers, which could block some highways for days or weeks.
The rain will last for days. This is because the hurricane is nothing more than a cyclone, a rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms that form on tropical or subtropical waters, which exceeds the speed of 119 km / h.
Keep Yourself Safe
There are also evacuation policies for areas that are likely to be affected: in South Carolina, for example, the Government has made available a constantly updated map of places that need to be emptied. The displaced population will be attended by the local emergency office.
According to the government's official hurricane preparedness information website, the highest occurrence of hurricanes on North American soil occurs in September.
Anyone reading this in the path of Hurricane Florence, take care of yourself!