Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence Flooding Outlook

River Flooding
Here is a rainfall forecast from the National Weather Service that looks very good based on what we know about the storm at this point. In a couple of places I have slightly adjusted the amounts.

Based on this forecast, what can we infer?
  • Catastrophic flooding in southeast North Carolina. Areas will flood that have never flooded before, especially when combined with the salt water storm surge (see the video in the "5:30" posting immediately below). Get out if you have been so ordered. 
  • Severe to catastrophic flooding in far northeast South Carolina. Same as above. 
  • We can take the river maps and figure which areas are most vulnerable. See below.
Let's begin with Virginia. Here is a simplified Virginia river map with arrows showing the direction of flow. The rivers in Virginia generally flow toward the south or southeast (green arrows).
click to enlarge
Obviously, the southern half of the state is more vulnerable to serious flooding.

Since the rivers flow south and southeast, let's look next at North Carolina.
Finally, South Carolina.
I am extremely worried about the area in far northeast South Carolina (inland of Myrtle Beach) which is outlined. Given rainfalls of 12 to 30 inches and the confluence of the various rivers is a recipe for flooding unlike what has been seen before.

Storm Surge Flooding (Salt Water)

Finally, the storm surge is even going to affect Wilmington.


The Weather Channel has an amazing computer graphic video in their tweets that helps illustrate what these heights mean.

A three-foot surge. 

A six-foot surge. 
Of course, an even higher surge is forecast in some areas. Now, put waves and violent winds on top of the surge water. You won't survive. If you need more convincing, there is a video of a storm surge in my posting immediately below. 
If you haven't left, there is still time. 
Organize tonight. Leave tomorrow morning, first thing. 

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