Florence watching

South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster, called for the evacuation of the entire SC coastal area yesterday afternoon with lane reversals for I-26 all the way to Columbia.

The evacuation order is something McMaster is certain to get some flak and criticism later for but given the forecast track, storm intensity, and size at the time, I think it was an entirely reasonable precaution.

Hurricane evacuation orders in South Carolina are called “mandatory”, but nobody is going to come to force you to leave.  However, if you choose to stay, once winds reach a sustained 40 mph (or 39 mph, depending on your source), you’re on your own. Emergency personnel won’t respond because they’re hunkered down for their own safety, or might not even be able to get to you even if they could respond.

Based on today’s 5AM AST forecast track, it looks like we’ll be on the edge of the storm and, barring any unexpected turns to the west, won’t be affected quite as much.  The NHC 3-day forecasts have been fairly accurate the past few years, so I don’t expect many big changes to the forecast track.  Florence has a pretty broad wind field, and it’s expected to slow down quite a bit once it gets inland.  Expecting it to be windy and rainy, but not much more than that.

Hurricane Florence 20180911 0500AST

Hurricane prep continues today with putting away anything on the back porch that can blow away.  Probably don’t really need to, but if nothing else it’s a good drill for next time.