Florence, a Category 2 hurricane packing 105-mph winds, is closing in on the Carolinas. How worried should people there be? Here's what a National Weather Service meteorologist said to expect:
"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that`s saying a lot given the impacts we`ve seen from Hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd and Matthew. I can`t emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm."
Accidents, disasters and safety
Continents and regions
Southeastern United States
Here are some facts that show the power of this monster of a hurricane:
- The tropical storm-force winds stretch more than 335 miles, which is far enough to reach from New York to nearly Toronto.
- The hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the storm and cover more than 15,000 square miles, an area larger than Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
- The size of the hurricane-force winds has doubled over the past 48 hours despite the top wind speed weakening from 130 mph to 105 mph.
- Rainfall could reach 40 inches in isolated locations of coastal North Carolina. For comparison, Washington, D.C., averages 40 inches of rain in an entire year.
- Wilmington, North Carolina, has already had its rainiest year to date and could get eight months' worth of rain in the next three days. The rainfall would shatter all-time records for the region.