Florence is quickly becoming a powerful hurricane. Satellite images show that the distinct eye has warmed in the center, with convection increasing in the eye-wall during the past several hours. Most forecast tracks are in general agreement for a landfall in the Carolinas sometime Thursday. This should spare New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic from major wind and storm surge associated with the storm.
However, there is a near certain probability that rainfall from the storm will potentially produce downpours and flooding throughout the Mid Atlantic region. Threats include very heavy rainfall, inland river flooding, as well as major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion. These impacts will be affecting our weather this weekend. This is especially concerning as we have had a wet summer, a record rainfall for the month of August; have just experienced flooding and high rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Gordon; and are experiencing the month’s highest lunar tides.
Some congregations may have members or neighbors who are still recovering from previous disasters. The mere threat of an additional storm may be creating anxiety and fear. It is imperative that we are prepared to provide emotional and spiritual support for these individuals. One resource is the National Disaster Distress hotline provided by the Mental Health Association. Staffed by professional disaster counselors, this 24/7 service is free to anyone who needs to talk about their disaster related concerns. Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 | Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov |Facebook: /distresshelpline | Twitter: @distressline