Heartland native researching Hurricane Florence

Heartland native researching Hurricane Florence

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - As many are heading away from the Carolinas’ coastline a Cape Girardeau, Missouri native is heading right for it.

Aaron Mehner of Cape Girardeau is one of nine people on the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team.

They arrived in the Carolina’s Tuesday night and are setting up research instruments across the region where Florence is expected to make landfall.

"The ultimate goal of this is to measure characteristics about the wind near the surface for insurance purposes and damage assessment modeling," said Mehner.

He said they hope to learn all they can about hurricane Florence and to do so that they have to head toward the storm.

"When we kind of got into the Carolinas both lanes that were north and west bound essentially away from the coast were backed up for 50 to 100 miles in some cases and we were obviously free flowing traffic all the way to the shoreline,” said Mehner.

He said it’s odd to see popular tourists areas so bare. “It’s beautiful weather right now and nothing is there,” he said. "Most people are evacuated you do have people who are sticking around but it’s pretty much a ghost town everywhere you go.”

The research team is setting up instruments across the landfall area and Mehner said the last one they set up was near a mobile home park that will likely be destroyed when the hurricane passes through.

“Where it was lying next to the coast line almost certainly it’s going to be completely flooded by storm search,” said Mehner. "And it was just weird to know what when we come back to get the probe it will mostly likely not be there.”

Mehner said they will stay in the Carolinas until the hurricane passes and it’s safe for them to drive back.

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