Several nuclear power plants located in and around the Carolinas are expected to take a direct hit from Hurricane Florence’s powerful eyewall once the massive Category 4 storm makes landfall sometime on Friday.
“Flooding from the storm could be catastrophic for the nuclear power plants. Excessive amounts of water can damage equipment or knock out the plants’ electrical systems, disabling its cooling mechanisms. This is what happened at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan as a result of the March 2011 tsunami, causing severe damage to the plant’s reactors,” Zero Hedge reports.
According to the piece: “Global Hurricane Florence Model Track Guidance overwhelmingly shows Brunswick Nuclear Plant and Duke-Sutton Steam Plant could take a direct hit.”
To make matters worse, Hurricane Florence is reportedly going to be the most powerful storm to hit the East Coast since Hugo and it’s set to arrive on Friday packing 130 mph and greater gusts.
The National Weather Service issued a warning on Tuesday which described the storm as “life-threatening” and mandatory evacuation orders have been given to residents in the area.
“Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Florence is expected to begin re-strengthening later today and continue a slow strengthening trend for the next day or so. While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through landfall,” the bulletin stated.
Additionally, the NWS reports that parts of the state may see more than “15-20 inches of rainfall” during the surge which may cause excessive flooding.
“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide,” the message warned.