Washington (AP) – hurricane "Florence" moves despite reduced wind strength with great destructive power on the southeast coast of the United States. Life-threatening storm surges and heavy rains threaten among others in the states of North and South Carolina, as the National Hurricane Center announced.
For days, people on the US East Coast have been arming themselves for the arrival of one of the most violent hurricanes in years. US media spoke of well over one million people leaving the coastal region and millions of people affected.
With wind speeds of around 175 miles per hour, the storm is now moving across the Atlantic towards the coast, the authorities said. The strength of the hurricane, which has since been reduced to category 2, is expected to change only slightly until it hits land, the source said. Meteorologists had previously not ruled out that the storm could develop into a hurricane of the highest magnitude 5, that could reach wind speeds of more than 250 kilometers per hour.
Heavy winds should already Thursday morning (local time) the coast North Carolina reach, said the hurricane center on. Friday morning then "Florence" should hit land, on the coast of the states of North Carolina or South Carolina – where and when exactly, was still unclear. It is expected to a meter of rain. The rains could last for about four days, CNN wrote.
Several states, the national civil protection agency FEMA, the US armed forces and utilities work around the clock to prepare for the worst. "There could be record floods," said acting head of the hurricane center, Ed Rappaport. "It's going to be a storm to remember, I hope everyone stays alive."
The agency warned that a life-threatening storm surge, with water masses moving inland from the coast, was "very likely". Flooding over longer periods of time would be expected. Storm surges of up to four meters are possible.
The areas along the southern US Atlantic coast already resembled ghost towns on Wednesday. Windows and doors were barricaded, shops and supermarkets closed, hotels sent their guests back. US media compared "Florence" even before his arrival with hurricanes like "Katrina", which had brought 2005 death and terror over the southern states.
At first, meteorologists were unable to pinpoint the path of the hurricane. Depending on the computer model, the whirlwind of the hurricane could contain hundreds of thousands of residential buildings, as well as up to six nuclear power plants and several hazardous waste landfills. There is currently no cause for concern because of the power plants, affirmed FEMA.
The authorities and at their head US President Donald Trump On Wednesday, people in the region urged once again to follow the instructions to vacate their homes. "Do not play games with him, he's big," Trump said in a video message. FEMA appealed to people not to endanger emergency workers by remaining in the threatened areas and having to be rescued. There are enough emergency shelters.
Although it is foreseeable that the storm is likely to cause serious damage, hundreds of people barricaded themselves in their homes for fear of months of impossible returns – even on the offshore dune islands, which will be particularly exposed to the floods. It is certain that hundreds of thousands of people will be without electricity after the arrival of the storm. Electric utilities have sent hundreds of special forces to the area to restore supplies after the collapse of electricity pylons.
"We have a good community here, we will persevere and look for all," Richard King told CNN. He, his wife, and around 60 neighbors in Wilmington, North Carolina, wanted to stay in the hurricane. In Carolina Beach, a peninsula off the state coast, up to 1,000 residents perished, according to CNN, citing local authorities.
The cyclone itself moves only slowly – last at about 24 kilometers per hour. In the swath of the hurricane lie next to North and South Carolina also Virginia. Meteorologists said recently but predicted that the hurricane could screw in just south.
FEMA said the hurricane would lose power over land. However, meteorologists also believe it is possible that the center of the storm will drag along the coast, bringing days of heavy rainfall to the area without any noticeable weakening.
Cyclones in the USA:
"MARIA" is looking for the Caribbean in mid-September 2017, the island of Puerto Rico is particularly affected. There are floods and landslides, nationwide falls out of power. As a result, 64 people are dying immediately, but as a result of the disaster, a total of almost 3,000 lives are lost, according to a study.
At the beginning of September 2017, "IRMA" is wreaking havoc through the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. Islands like Barbuda are under water. Dozens of people die in the disaster, millions are without electricity. More than 100,000 people are waiting in shelters.
"HARVEY" reaches the east coast of the US state of Texas in August 2017 and submerges large areas of land, including the fourth largest US metropolis Houston. Dozens are killed. Damage Account: $ 125 Billion Exceeded Only by Hurricane Katrina (2005).
"MATTHEW" meets in the fall of 2016 on the US, 34 people come around
Life – most in North Carolina. Three million are leaving their homes. In the Caribbean, 585 people are dying, especially in Haiti.
"SANDY" whirls along the US East Coast in October 2012. The storm, which rages initially in the Caribbean, leaves a picture of devastation, especially in the states of New York and New Jersey. There are about 150 dead. In New York City whole neighborhoods are under water.
"KATRINA" raged along the Gulf Coast in August 2005, more than 1800
People are killed. Particularly affected is New Orleans. The storm led to the hitherto most expensive hurricane disaster in the US – at $ 160 billion, taking inflation into account.