18 trillion gallons in 7 days: Hurricane Florence rainfall totals could be staggering

    High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro, N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Tom Copeland)

    WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Florence's total rainfall will likely be staggeringly huge.

    Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculates that Hurricane Florence is forecast to dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain in seven days over the Carolinas and Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

    That doesn't quite measure up to the 25 trillion gallons Harvey dropped on Texas and Louisiana last year. Maue says Harvey stalled longer and stayed closer to the coast, which enabled it to keep sucking moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Still, 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay.

    It's enough to cover the entire state of Texas with nearly four inches (10 centimeters) of water.

    That much rain is 2.4 trillion cubic feet (68 billion cubic meters). It's enough to cover Manhattan with nearly 3,800 feet (1.1 kilometers) of water, more than twice as high as the island's tallest building.

    North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough rain to cover the Tar Heel state in about 10 inches (25 centimeters) of water.

    Maue calculates that 34 million people will get at least 3 inches, with more than 5.7 million getting at least a foot and about 1.5 million getting 20 inches or more.

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