Will Hurricane Florence hit South Carolina

Hurricane "Florence" : Climate researcher warns: Climate change increases storm intensity

In view of the hurricane “Florence”, which is advancing with great destructive power on the southeast coast of the USA, the Potsdam climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf has warned against further global warming. Warmer sea temperatures could further increase the storm intensity in the future, said Rahmstorf, head of the Earth System Analysis research area at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Many of the strongest storms ever had occurred in the past few years, he said.

On the southeast coast of the United States, people made the final preparations on Thursday to prepare for a severe weather disaster that could last for days. According to the US authorities, hurricane "Florence" is expected to hit land in the states of North Carolina or South Carolina between Friday and Saturday morning local time.

On Thursday, it looked like the stretch of coast between the city of Wilmington, North Carolina and the Myrtle Beach vacation center, South Carolina, could be at the center of the storm. As early as Thursday, the streets were full of water in the first places after the sea level had risen. In the vicinity of the city of Wilmington (North Carolina), the electricity supplier Duke Enery took a nuclear power plant off the grid as a precaution.

The US authorities have downgraded the approaching hurricane "Florence". With wind speeds of around 175 kilometers per hour, the storm is now raging over the Atlantic, as the National Hurricane Center announced on Thursday night. The strength of the cyclone, downgraded to Category 2 of 5, will only change slightly until it hits land, it said.

"We are talking about an extensive wind field," said the head of the US civil protection agency Fema, Brock Long, on Thursday. There will be extreme storm surges. “Storm surges will be a big problem upstream,” he said. For days, rainbands would dump their water load absorbed over the Atlantic over the coastal sections far inland.

The German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted impressive photos of "Florence" and a warning from the space station ISS. "Watch out, America," wrote Gerst.

The people on the southeast coast of the USA have been preparing for the arrival of what is arguably the most violent hurricane in decades. "Florence" is supposed to hit land on Friday night or Friday morning.

A state of emergency has been declared in the states of North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and the capital Washington.
According to the forecast, up to one meter of rain is likely to fall in some regions of North and South Carolina. This could cause catastrophic spring tides, rivers could overflow, warned the NHC. There was also the threat of storm surges and tornadoes.

Residents of the coastal areas of the affected regions had previously been asked to leave their homes. Evacuation orders or recommendations apply to a total of around 1.7 million residents.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday with a view to the storm: "Avoid him, don't play games with him," the storm was extremely large. "We will deal with it, we are ready, we are able."

The US civil protection agency Fema had previously warned that "Florence" would hit the coast with the force of a "Mike Tyson blow" - an allusion to the ex-boxing world champion.

Thousands of people had already brought themselves to safety on Wednesday as a precaution. Long traffic jams formed on the streets. However, some residents still refused to leave their homes despite evacuation orders.

The utility Duke Energy in North and South Carolina said that one to three million households are threatened with power cuts. A repair could take weeks.

Several US states, FEMA, the US armed forces and utilities work around the clock to prepare for the worst.

Meteorologists had previously not ruled out that the storm could develop into a hurricane of the highest magnitude 5. This category applies from wind speeds of more than 250 kilometers per hour. The cyclone itself, on the other hand, only moves slowly forward - most recently at around 28 kilometers per hour. (with agencies)

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