Despite being downgraded to a Category 1 storm, Hurricane Florence is still threatening the Carolinas with heavy rains and the potential for deadly storm surge.
In an effort to best demonstrate to their viewers just how devastating that potential storm surge could be, the Weather Channel unveiled a new virtual model to help visualize the dangers.
“One of the biggest killers in hurricanes is storm surge flooding, and we're expecting life-threatening storm surge flooding with this storm,” Ryan Davidson explains in the video.
With estimated surge of up to nine feet in some areas, Davidson explained that this could be a “reasonable worst case scenario.”
But while maps can be useful in explaining the expected impact of catastrophic weather events, the Weather Channel found a way to show viewers just how deadly this storm can be. As the camera in the studio pans out, a virtual storm grows around Davidson.
Watch the video below:
The latest iteration of our IMR group's work. This is what storm surge looks like. #Florence will make landfall in the next 36-48 hours and bring with it, 6-9 feet of potential storm surge. @parkertwc will show you what that looks like. @LocalNow @weatherchannel #NCwx #SCwx pic.twitter.com/mG9JjOOJeM
— Ryan Davidson (@RyanDavidsonWX) September 13, 2018
At six feet, viewers were able to visualize how the waters could quickly overcome them and submerge their property. “When it gets to that level, it is life-threatening,” Davidson explains. “You've got no chance of being able to survive that if you're out in that level of flooding.”
When the graphic expanded to show what nine feet of flood waters look like, the terrifying potential of the storm was clear. “This is unbelievable,” Davidson says. “The only way that you could get out of this situation would be if you could evacuate vertically.”
“If you could get to a second level somewhere, you might — you might have a chance to be able survive this level of storm surge flooding.”
Davidson ended the segment standing in the middle of the virtual flood with the sounds of high winds whipping by, urging viewers to heed the warnings of local officials.