After the horror of Hurricane Florence, the storm could return

Hurricane Florence and its subsequent flooding has caused the deaths of 42 people in South Carolina and Virginia. Over half of the people who died in the storm and flooding were in vehicles.

In North Carolina, many have started returning to their ruined homes as the rivers finally recede to normal levels. Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina said the state was still tallying its storm damage but said it would be in the billions. In the south, governor Henry McMaster estimated that South Carolina has already suffered around $1.2bn in damage. He has asked Congress for help.

The remains of Hurricane Florence’s are now in the Atlantic, but they have a chance of becoming another tropical storm. A week after Hurricane Florence trashed Carolina and surrounding areas with wind and rain, the storm hasn’t completely dissipated. There’s a chance of a storm reforming and moving over the Cape Fear coast.

Labelled Disturbance 3 by the National Hurricane Centre, the small storm system was given only a 20% chance of the storm system reforming into an officially named tropical depression or storm within the next few days. But 20% is still worth monitoring, especially since Florence behaved in such a highly unusual manner; striking the East Coast from a position in the Atlantic that so rarely occurs.

Meteorologist Victoria Oliva, with the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office, said while there is a chance of the storm reforming, it is not likely to find the favourable conditions that fuelled the destructive Hurricane Florence. She mentions that the storm is moving very slowly, and it is not in a good environment. There is a lot of dry air and strong upper level winds that would create shear – not ideal for tropical storms.

The new possible storm already has a name waiting if it does reform: Storm Kirk. If the tropical system of storm remains reform, it wouldn’t retain the name of Florence – a name that has now been etched into the history books of Carolina as a bringer of utter tragedy.

If Storm Kirk forms, Oliva advises that it could bring some rainfall, but that might be seven or more days out. The situation is very uncertain as the region mourns their losses. The worry is that as the remnants of Florence travel further out, there’s a small chance part of the storm system will loop near Bermuda and intensify back into a storm while the other half deepens into a powerful North Atlantic non-tropical gale.

Meanwhile, North Carolina and South Carolina continue dealing with the widespread flooding left by Hurricane Florence. Some areas received 30 to 40 inches of rain over the days of the natural disaster, and rivers are still flooding in several areas of the region. A round of evacuations has been ordered in South Carolina, as trillions of gallons of water dumped by Hurricane Florence drain down to the sea; raising river levels and threatening even more destruction.

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