Americas: Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Florence Information Bulletin N° 3

This bulletin is being issued for information only; it reflects the current situation and details available at this time.

The situation

Hurricane Florence

According to the United States of America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Hurricane Florence arrived on the east coast of the United States of America as a Category 1 storm early on 14 September, delivering heavy rain, strong gusts and "catastrophic" flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center. The centre of the storm arrived about 7:15 a.m. EDT near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, close to the South Carolina border. Florence made landfall with winds of 90 mph and slowed a bit in its movement as its outward winds lashed North and South Carolina.

In its 2 p.m. EDT advisory on 14 September, the NHC said Florence was moving slowly inland over the southern part of North Carolina. The eye of the storm was about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Caroline, and 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was moving west at 5 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. News reports indicate that at least four people died in North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence.

Although wind speed has reduced over the past two days, the slow speed of the hurricane's travel indicates catastrophic flooding is the primary threat for the coast. Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians through early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down while it moves inland. The NHC on 14 September noted rain totals for several locations in the storm zone. Oriental, North Carolina, has seen nearly 19 inches, Surf City 14 and WFO Morehead City 14 inches and Jacksonville 13 inches.

Tropical Depression Isaac

According to the National Hurricane Centre, Tropical Storm Isaac has weakened to a tropical depression and is passing over the Caribbean.

At 5 a.m. EDT on 14 September, the center of the storm was located 190 miles south of St. Croix and 440 miles southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Isaac was moving west at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Local governments canceled all warnings and watches associated with Isaac, which had been a hurricane for a few days this week.

Forecasters said Isaac will diminish in the next several days and could bring 2 to 5 inches of rain and flash flooding to the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands and eastern Puerto Rico. The tropical depression is heading west toward Central America.