Headline Roundup: Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence heads towards land, thousands of residents, business owners, public-safety officials, and first responders are attempting to get a heads up on the massive storm, which should slam into the east coasts tomorrow.

The potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane is barreling its way across the Atlantic and has set its eye on the Carolina coast and Mid-Atlantic region – bringing with it 130 mph winds and upwards of 40 inches of rainfall in some areas.

The dangerous hurricane is on a path that will put millions of people at risk and threaten billions of dollars in property damage centered on the Carolinas beginning on Thursday and continuing through this weekend.

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Here are some of those headlines from around the web:

“Monster” Hurricane Florence nears Carolina coast

(https://kristv.com/news/national-news/2018/09/12/monster-hurricane-florence-nears-carolina-coast-2/)

“Coastal residents fleeing a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 140 mph (225 kph) winds and drenching rain that could last for days.

While some said they planned to stay put despite hurricane watches and warnings that include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many weren’t taking any chances.

Steady streams of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland Tuesday as Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone on North Carolina’s coast to flee.

“The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you’ve ever seen. Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster,” he said.

Forecasters said Florence was expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and dump a torrential 1 to 2½ feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) of rain. Flooding well inland could wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.”

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What wireless providers like Verizon, AT&T are doing to prepare for Hurricane Florence

(https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/09/11/hurricane-florence-wireless-providers-recovery/1265014002/)

“As millions evacuate the mid-Atlantic coastal region ahead of Hurricane Florence, wireless providers are mounting an invasion of support crews and high-tech machinery to repair and restore connectivity in the storm’s wake.

The incursion includes a menagerie of machines with animal monickers meant to help mend the hurricane-hit area’s communications network. There are COWs (cells on wheels and wings), COLTs (cells on light trucks), CROWs (cellular repeaters on wheels), GOATs (generators on a trailer) and Spiders, webs of circuitry meant to improve connectivity in places such as hotels, command centers and temporary shelters.

Also set to be deployed: scores of drones to assess damage to the thousands of cell towers that blanket the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia region expected to bear the brunt of Florence’s wrath.”

Frontier Communications Prepares for Hurricane Florence; Offers Storm Preparedness and Safety Tips to Help Customers Be Ready

(https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/frontier-communications-prepares-for-hurricane-florence-offers-storm-preparedness-and-safety-tips-to-help-customers-be-ready-2018-09-10)

“With Hurricane Florence potentially impacting South and North Carolina, Frontier Communications urges customers to be prepared. In addition to arranging food, water and storm supplies, Frontier encourages customers to prepare a communications emergency kit. This includes quick access to important phone numbers, account information, and power charging devices and supplies.

Frontier’s Emergency Response Center (ERC) is activated and will serve as the nerve center for managing the impacts and aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Steps underway include:

  • Double-checking all safety equipment and supplies used by field technicians.
  • Planning for the safety and welfare of the company’s operations personnel.
  • Placing emergency network supplies throughout company facilities.
  • Securing safe parking for Frontier’s fleet of service trucks.
  • Ensuring availability of fuel for the fleet and emergency generators throughout the duration of the storm and its aftermath.
  • Taking inventory of supplies that will be needed in the aftermath of severe weather to restore the network.
  • Ongoing communications throughout the storm.

“The threat of Hurricane Florence means our Business Continuity Plan is being implemented in preparation for potential impacts from the storm,” said Melanie Williams, Frontier’s Senior Vice President of Operations, South Region. “We are taking the necessary steps to harden our facilities and do everything possible to maintain service for our customers. Being able to connect with loved ones can be a huge relief during a hurricane and advance planning now by our customers will help them to be ready.”

A New Blueprint for Emergency Communications as Hurricane Florence Looms

(https://www.prnewsonline.com/hurricane-florence-shows-shift-in-emergency-communications)

“As Hurricane Florence stalks toward the U.S. Eastern seaboard, officials are urging residents of coastal North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to evacuate before the storm makes landfall on Thursday night.

But, as with all with major storms, some people just won’t listen. Communicators across government agencies and political offices must contend with skepticism, fear and just plain stubbornness from constituents when making announcements about hurricane preparedness and evacuation, even after the destruction of hurricanes like Katrina, Sandy and 2017’s trio of Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Evidence shows, however, that emergency management communications strategies concerning hurricanes have shifted significantly in recent years, leading to more accurate predictions and lower death tolls. But with weather events and natural disasters, there is a degree of uncertainty that makes this kind of messaging a delicate dance.

With Florence in particular, messaging has been particularly dire. Jeff Byard, Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator, said on Sept. 11, “This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country. It is going to be…a long-term recovery.” And North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told his constituents to expect prolonged power outages and to prepare evacuation routes now in order to “avoid losses due to Florence.”

The National Hurricane Center has been keeping followers informed on its Twitter feed, using language like “life-threatening” and “catastrophic” in relation to storm surges, flash flooding and hurricane-force winds in Florence’s wake.”

‘Disaster Is At The Doorstep,’ N.C. Governor Says As Hurricane Florence Zeroes In

(https://www.npr.org/2018/09/12/647005403/hurricane-florence-zeroes-in-on-carolinas-bringing-130-mph-winds)

“Hurricane Florence is blasting toward the Carolinas, carrying sustained winds of up to 130 mph and the threat of “life-threatening storm surge and rainfall,” the National Hurricane Center says.

A hurricane warning – meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours — is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in South Carolina to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

Hurricane conditions will likely hit the area around North Carolina’s southern coast on Friday, but tropical storm conditions will arrive on Thursday, according to the hurricane center.

“Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. “If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely.”

The time to prepare for the storm is almost over, he said.

Shortly before 11 a.m. ET, Florence was 485 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., moving northwest at 15 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in South Carolina and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence’s way. Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal followed suit on Wednesday.

Forecasters have adjusted Hurricane Florence’s projected path, saying that after it makes landfall, it is likely to take a more southerly route than expected. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm’s center is now predicted to move across the middle of South Carolina.”

Will Hurricane Florence Strengthen into a Rare Category 5 Storm?

(https://www.livescience.com/63553-will-hurricane-florence-strengthen-category-5.html)

“Hurricane Florence, currently a Category 4 storm, may strengthen to a Category 5 hurricane before weakening again on its approach toward the North or South Carolina coastlines.

But regardless of the wind speeds when the hurricane makes landfall — expected on Thursday (Sept. 13) — it will bring with it massive amounts of moisture and hazards for anyone in its path, meteorologists say.

According to the National Hurricane’s Center (NHC) 5 a.m. forecast, Hurricane Florence currently has sustained winds of up to 130 mph (209 km/h) and is expected to get stronger before weakening slightly on Thursday. To reach Category 5 status, the storm will have to blow sustained winds above 157 mph (253 km/h).”

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