A terrifying visualisation shows how Hurricane Florence could cause up to 13 feet of storm surge in parts of the East Coast

  • Hurricane Florence has started to hit the North Carolina coast.
  • The National Hurricane Center predicts the hurricane will cause up to 13 feet of storm surge on the East Coast.
  • A new tool created by the NHC helps visualise how devastating the storm surge could be.

Hurricane Florence, travelling toward the US with sustained winds of up to 105 mph, has started to hit the North Carolina coast.

The hurricane is predicted to bring up to 40 inches of rain and 13 feet of storm surge. While that sounds like a lot, it can be hard to picture exactly what it could look like on the ground. The National Hurricane Center, which called these levels “catastrophic,” has created a augmented reality tool that helps visualise how severe the storm surge could be.

Take a look at the Weather Channel’s evocative visualisation of the NHC tool:

Vehicles begin floating once the water reaches two or three feet, making driving away impossible. At nine feet of storm surge flooding – expected in parts of North Carolina such as Newport – the only way to survive is to move up to a higher level until the flooding passes.

The NHC said tropical storm-force winds will hit North and South Carolina with full force on Thursday evening. Evacuation orders are in place in Virginia and the Carolinas, and about 10 million people are under some kind of weather warning.

Five states and Washington, DC, have declared states of emergency: South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland. As of Thursday, nearly a dozen airports have shut down, with more than 1,000 flights being canceled.

Hurricane Florence could flood thousands of buildings. The New York Times reported that Duke Energy, the Carolinas’ major power supplier, said as many as 3 million people could lose power.

Hurricane florence potential destruction infographic