Hurricane Florence: Scientists fly into eye of Category 4 storm barreling towards US east coast

More than million people are evacuating the North and South Carolina coasts 

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Tuesday 11 September 2018 15:22 BST
Scientists flying into Hurricane Florence

New video footage shows the moment scientists flew into the eye of Hurricane Florence to assess the Category 4 storm barrelling towards the East Coast of the US.

The eye was oddly calm as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Research Division scientist Heather Holbach and others flew from the Caribbean island of Bermuda to survey the southeastern US coast and then meet the storm in the Atlantic Ocean.

The storm is expected to make landfall later this week and in preparation at least 1.5 million people have already been forced to evacuate their homes. Hurricane Florence's winds reach are expected to reach up to 140mph (225 kmh) as it approaches Category 5 strength.

A Category 5 storm has sustained winds of 157 mph or more.

The winds are expected to start reaching the coast of North and South Carolina late .

The Carolinas are expected to face the biggest flooding threat on the coast, but rain and storm conditions are expected throughout the Mid-Atlantic region over the weekend.

Hurricane Florence From Space

The coast of southern Virginia is also expected to experience some storm conditions.

The National Hurricane Center branded it as an "extremely dangerous major hurricane".

Given the havoc wreaked by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria on Texas, Florida, and especially hard-hit Puerto Rico last year, emergency management personnel have urged residents to take the storm seriously.

The centre warned of a three major threats:

A rise in ocean levels resulting in a “life-threatening storm surge, life-threatening freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, [and] damaging hurricane-force winds” on the coast, but also inland.

Florence has grown quickly as well. It was declared a hurricane on 9 September, by the next day it intensified to a Category 3 storm.

Just one hour later it was upgraded to a Category 4.

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