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Eric Holthaus @EricHolthaus
, 10 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
NHC Update, 11am:

Hurricane #Florence continues on track for a history-making landfall in North Carolina -- with potential simultaneous new all-time East Coast records for wind, rainfall, and storm surge.

A word on each of those three main threats:

The main threat to life from Hurricane #Florence is storm surge—the reason for the mandatory coastal evacuations.

Historically, storm surge accounts for half of all hurricane deaths.

#Florence could bring 10-20 feet of storm surge, among the highest ever on the East Coast.

The current East Coast storm surge record is 18ft, set by Hazel (1954) and Hugo (1989) -- both hit the Carolinas.

The @UNC is also helping maintain a real-time prediction of #Florence's storm surge here: Follow @NHC_Surge, too.…
The worst storm surge depends on exactly where #Florence hits and whether or not it happens to be high tide.

It's likely that damaging surge will extend hundreds of miles up and down the coastline, from southern South Carolina to Virginia.

Storm surge like this will scour the coastline bare -- especially on fragile barrier islands. #Florence could permanently change the region's geography.

Decades of sea level rise hasn't helped -- the ocean is about a foot higher now than it was when Hazel hit in the 1950s.

When #Florence makes landfall, it will likely do so as a Category 3 or 4.

Winds as strong as Florence’s will produce “catastrophic” damage, according to the @NHC_Atlantic. Their prediction: “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

The combination of water-logged soils & strong winds will produce extensive power outages. It could take weeks to repair them.

Millions more people live in the coastal Carolinas than generations ago when Hazel & Hugo hit.

There is more to lose now. Recovery will take years.

When #Florence arrives, it will be hundreds of miles wide. After it makes landfall, it will slow to a crawl and stay over the region for days.

20-40"+ of rain are possible.

That will produce an abject rainfall flood & could shatter the East Coast hurricane rainfall record.

Heavy rain from #Florence will extend for hundreds of miles inland, worsened by the effect of so much moisture pushed up against the Appalachian Mountains.

All that water has to drain back to the ocean. That will take a week or more, pushing rivers to record heights.

I have a more detailed analysis of the historic threats from #Florence here:…

Please share this.

It's very important not to underestimate this storm. Help others. Work together.

Now you know what's coming. Please, take action.

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