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Hurricane Florence Update: Landfall Expected Friday Morning, Rain Arrives in the High Country Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Photo courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

By Nathan Ham

Hurricane Florence continues to churn near the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina with landfall coming sometime Friday morning, that according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.

Current predictions have Hurricane Florence making landfall just north of Wilmington as a Category 2 Hurricane.

Here in the High Country, rainfall totals are expected to be between 5-8 inches from Saturday night through Tuesday morning in most places with locally higher amounts possible along the Blue Ridge Escarpment according to the latest update on Thursday morning from Ray’s Weather Center.

Wind will also be an issue with this storm in the mountains. Winds will be higher on eastern facing slopes and will be at their worst from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. Gusts will be between 30-50 MPH according to Ray’s Weather Center.

Locations along the coasts of North and South Carolina and inland locations in the eastern portions of both states may see some of the highest rainfall totals in the history of each state. Rainfall predictions along coastal locations are between 20 and 30 inches in most places and isolated totals of up to 40 inches of rain which will bring catastrophic flooding to these impacted areas.

Storm surge will be another serious problem along the coast. Cape Fear to Cape Lookout storm surge totals could reach as high as 13 feet with areas around Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach having storm surges of 6-9 feet.

If there is any positive news coming from this weather event, previous forecast models had the potential of Hurricane Florence making landfall as the first Category 5 Hurricane in North Carolina history. However, the storm has weakened, as it has gotten closer to the coast with Category 2 hurricane strength of sustained winds of 110 MPH.

Looking ahead here in the High Country, it appears the area will get a much-needed break with dry weather the rest of the week after what is left of Hurricane Florence moves out of the area Tuesday.