Travel concerns in Carolina as thousands of residents are evacuated

Hurricane Florence is set to devastate the south-east coast of the US with over 20-inches of rainfall and wind speeds of over 100mph. By late this afternoon local time (Thursday 13th), the coasts of Carolina can expect winds of approximately 80mph – but that’s just the beginning.

Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Governer, has advised that “Catastrophic effects will be felt outside the centre of the storm due to storm surge as high as 9 to 13 feet… Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded.”

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has also announced that despite the current categorisation of Hurricane Florence, specialists are still expecting a Category 4 storm surge. Hurricane Florence is on a path to deliver disaster, and experts are concerned about the sheer amount of damage that may be done by the time the natural disaster passes through the south-eastern state.

At current, Hurricane Florence has started its journey across Carolina, but this US state might not be the only location to experience hardships caused by the tropical storm. Experts have discussed the possibility of Florence being picked up by a non-tropical storm and carried north-eastward towards Iceland, the British Isles or western Europe. There are also several non-tropical and tropical storms currently working their way across the Atlantic, including Storm Helene, Storm Joyce, and Storm Isaac.

Neil Jacobs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that Florence’s centre will approach the North and South Carolina coasts late Thursday and Friday. The actual landfall – when the centre of the eye reaches land – will be Friday afternoon, at the earliest. Federal forecasters have also predicted a few twisters between Thursday and Friday in south-east North Carolina.

At least 800 flights have been cancelled ahead of the storm, and many individuals with coastal homes have been advised to evacuate and travel away from the coast. Governor Cooper has said that these people would put their lives at risk by choosing to stay.

In Carolina Beach, authorities have stopped letting traffic through to the island using the only bridge between the island and the mainland. They have also instituted a 24-hour curfew. The town is less than 5 feet above sea level and officials are worried that as many as 1,000 of the town’s 6,300 residents are planning to stay during the storm. Flooding is almost guaranteed.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised all travellers that there are “life-threatening weather conditions” in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with the potential to effect other nearby areas.

If you’re in the local area already, you are advised to monitor local and national news and social media for updates and more information. Likewise, if you have planned any travel to the affected region before 15th September, you should keep your plans under close review and be prepared to amend or postpone them – keep in contact with your tour operators and transport and/or accommodation providers for updates on the travel situation for your booking.


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