The National Weather Service office in Wilmington, NC, says Hurricane Florence “will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast” and adds that flooding in southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina could be “unprecedented.”
Hurricane and storm surge watches run from the North Carolina line south to Duck, NC, and from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to the South Santee River, including Charleston.
In Virginia, storm watches run south from Cape Charles Lighthouse, the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort plus Virginia Beach and Norfolk.
What does this mean for Southwestern Virginia? Predictions, for the moment, look good.
The storm took a Southwestern turn Wednesday that now pretty much keeps the storm below the Virginia-North Carolina. It it stays on that track, Floyd County could get some rain, maybe 1-2 inches and little else.
But no tropical storm, hurricane watches or other threats for Southwestern Virginia.
But if Florence stops or slows to a crawl after it hits land, the predictions could change dramatically. Rain predictions now project 1-2 inches or possibly 2-3 inches on Monday but even a short period of hard rain could still bring down trees in areas where the ground remains wet from previous storms.
Floyd County High School postponed its scheduled volleyball matches on Thursday night and a scheduled football game on the road against Fort Chiswell was moved from Friday to Thursday.
Floyd County’s Emergency Services Coordinator Kevin Sowers urges residents to prepare with a stock of food and water. He recommends filling bathtubs and large bottles with water for drinking and other uses if the power goes out.
The Weather Service predicts the Carolinas could get massive rainfalls of up to 40 inches with major inland flooding.
“Slow moving tropical storms are the worst,” says the service.
We will be watching and reporting on any new information.
(Updated at midnight Wednesday.)