Fran unleashes fury on US
Friday 06 September 1996
The one piece of good news was that the South Carolina city of Charleston, a jewel of the old South battered by hurricane Hugo in September 1989, seem- ed likely to avoid a direct hit. But although Fran was forecast to come ashore some 100 miles to the north, at the resort of Myrtle Beach, it appears to be scarcely less fearsome.
With its 130 mph winds, flooding rains and massive sea surge, Hugo killed 27 people, destroyed 17,000 homes and caused $8bn of damage - $2bn in Charleston alone. Of recent hurricanes, only Andrew, which devastated the southern tip of Florida in August 1992 to the tune of $20bn, was worse.
Fran, clocked at a maximum of 120mph, is slightly less powerful. But as the storm approached land, hurricane force winds of 75mph or more extended 145 miles from the eye of the storm. Forecasters predicted that areas 100 miles inland could suffer its full impact, as it continued its north- westerly path to the mainland.
Shores in Fran's path were all but deserted last night. Almost half a million people have been ordered to evacuate by South Carolina's Governor, David Beasley. Those who have chosen to stay have boarded up windows and doors, but even that may not be protection against an ocean surge that could send a 12ft wall of water crashing into coastal buildings.
Fran is but a symptom of a deeper worry among US climatologists , that global climate change may be increasing the number and intensity of Atlantic tropical cyclones.
A system qualifies for a name when the winds reach tropical storm strength of 37 mph; when they reach 75mph, it becomes a hurricane. Eleven storms have been forecast between June and October this year, eight developing into hurricanes.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...