Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station
Hurricane Florence could bring “life-threatening flooding” to the Carolinas, and the remnants might reach Kentucky by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but is still expected to be an “extremely dangerous major hurricane” when it reaches the U.S. coasts late Thursday.
As Florence meanders in the Carolinas during the early part of the weekend, it could reach Eastern Kentucky by late Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
Parts of Eastern Kentucky, around Pikeville, could receive around 2 inches of rain early next week — adding to an already-high amount of September rain.
“At this point, the heaviest rain will be east of the I-75 corridor,” National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Schoettmer said.
“If you do get those tropical rainfall rates in the hills out there, it could increase your flash flood rate just being in Eastern Kentucky,” Schoettmer added.
By Monday, that storm system could reach the Lexington area, with around an inch of rain possible, Schoettmer said.
Lexington already has had 4.8 inches of rain in September; another inch would double the average amount of 2.91 inches of September rain, according to weather service data.
The system could bring wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph, according to WKYT Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey.
The storm system won’t produce the same amount of rainfall as Tropical Storm Gordon did when it reached Kentucky “because the setup is totally different and this thing is moving along,” Bailey said.
Many areas in Kentucky received at least 4 inches of rain from Gordon and parts of Northeast Kentucky received around 8 inches, the weather service reported. It led to flooding in several Kentucky counties and Montgomery County to declare a state of emergency.