Wednesday, January 22, 2020
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Hurricane Florence packs high winds, lots of rain

NASA footage from space shows a well-formed eye in Hurricane Florence, and people on the East Coast, especially in the Carolinas, are bracing for the worst from this hurricane, which is now a Category 4 storm and expected to sit over land when it makes landfall between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

“All interests from South Carolina into the mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials,” the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 PM update Monday.

Gov Larry Hogan of Maryland declared a state of emergency because of the storm, enabling the state to assemble personnel and equipment in the event of major flooding. That includes staff for emergency operations centers around the state, swift water rescue boats and flat-bottomed boats, and space in shelters.

According to data from the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service of the National Weather Service, the ground in Maryland, especially in central Maryland and up through Pennsylvania, is soaked, significantly escalating the threat from flooding.

Graph showing departure from normal precipitation over the last 60 days (AHPS/NOAA/NWS)

“We could have the potential of having historical kind of flooding,” the Baltimore Sun quoted Russell Strickland, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, as saying. “We’re pretty confident we’re going to have a lot of rain.”

As much as possible, we’ll provide updates about the storm in the Carolinas as it makes landfall.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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