Around 1.7 million people have been told to evacuate North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia in preparation for the coming of Hurricane Florence. The massive storm landed Friday morning on the North Carolina coast.
“My message today: Don’t relax, don’t get complacent, this is a powerful storm that can kill,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “It’s going to be a lot.”
In response to these fears, President Trump has called a state of emergency in these states. Even with these warnings from government officials, it can be hard to truly grasp the magnitude of a storm like this until it’s too late. Cooper told CNN yesterday: “We have brave first responders who are out in the water right now rescuing people. We have had loss of life and we mourn that. I’ll tell you, this storm is relentless and excruciating and very slow.”
"We have brave first responders who are out in the water right now rescuing people. We have had loss of life and we mourn that. I'll tell you, this storm is relentless and excruciating and very slow" North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on #Florence pic.twitter.com/QyiRLeqaEJ
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) September 15, 2018
That’s why The Weather Channel created an eye-opening video that gives viewers a glimpse into a “reasonable worst-case scenario of what Hurricane Florence could do. The video quickly went viral, showing a dramatic look at how high the waters could get because of the storm. The breathtaking stuff starts at about the 43-second mark in the clip below.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 13, 2018
The video, which quickly racked up more than 6 million views on Twitter, takes viewers through the possible dangers posed as the storm’s waters accumulate. Many Twitter users reacted positively to the video with viewers like @michaellis noting that it was a great use of technology. He wrote: “holy crap. Glad to see the weather channel using this kind of simulation in effective ways. Well done.”
holy crap. Glad to see the weather channel using this kind of simulation in effective ways. Well done.
— Micah Ellis (@micahellis) September 13, 2018
As meteorologist Erika Navarro explains, even when the water is just 3 feet high, it is important to remember that it’s not staid, calm water, but rather rushing water which could easily knock a person off their feet. This could be very dangerous for vulnerable people in the population, including the elderly, young children and babies, as well as those with mobility issues.
And, as the water levels rise, the dangers only increase. And that’s not just from the water itself, but also from what could be hidden under the surface, including chemicals and exposed power lines, making electrocution a possible concern.
By the time the water is 9 feet high, the situation quickly becomes a life-or-death scenario, according to Navarro. For those living in houses or ground-level apartments, when the water is this high, the first floor of the structure is going to be completely submerged in water.
“If you are told to go, you need to go,” said Navarro in the clip. “Listen to those local officials.”