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Coastal expert: Florence could be “storm of record for North Carolina”

Professor Robert Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, has released a new document this afternoon that analyzes the potential storm surge that could impact North Carolina as a result of Hurricane Florence and it’s not a pretty picture. Young’s analysis shows that Florence could produce a record storm surge because, in part, it will approach the coast perpendicularly similar to past disastrous storms to impact the U.S. like Hazel (1954), Hugo (1989) and Katrina (2005).

“Hurricane Florence is likely to generate significant storm surge in North Carolina or South Carolina because it meets all of the above criteria (assuming that the projected track/intensity will hold). The storm will approach the coast close to perpendicularly. The northern side of the storm will see onshore winds pushing a large envelope of water. The storm will be traveling straight towards the coast for days, pushing a lot of water in front of it. There are two embayments in the impact area that could focus flood waters and accentuate storm surge heights.”

Young’s storm surge analysis goes on to list the highest recorded storm surges at Sunset Beach, Carolina beach, Wrightsville Beach, Topsail Island and Myrtle and North Myrtle Beaches in South Carolina. Click here to read the entire sobering document.

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