Now that Florence is moving out of the Southeast except for a few lingering feeder bands through NC, it’s time to think about the success or failure of messaging about the storm. The first thing to remember is that the forecast from the National Hurricane Center was fantastic as much as 5 days out. There were some wrinkles as the forecast path changed slightly once it got near the coast, but overall the biggest impacts from storm surge and heavy rainfall were both realized just about exactly where we expected. In spite of that, many people decided not to evacuate from threatened areas (for a variety of reasons, certainly), and many needed to be rescued, putting emergency folks in danger as well.
My colleague Dr. Marshall Shepherd of UGA has written a post for Forbes.com describing some of the lessons we have already learned from Florence. No doubt there will be many more to come. And if you think that the storm was over-forecast or over-hyped, then you are not paying attention to the disaster that is still unfolding in North and South Carolina. The next time it could be you. The article is at https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2018/09/17/five-things-that-must-change-after-hurricane-florence/#6aad58424a9e.