Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power

Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

The National Hurricane Center said early Friday that Florence was about to make landfall in North Carolina bringing with it life-threatening storm surge and hurricane strength winds.

Heavy rainbands along with tropical storm-force winds are spreading across the outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina, the NHC said on Thursday.

Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the US southeast.

In the 5 a.m. ET advisory, Florence was 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 15 mph. FEMA officials wrote on Twitter people should not focus on the category of the storm - as of Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence was a Category 2 storm, indicating slower wind speeds - but rather should pay attention to the fact there will be extreme flooding in the Carolinas as a result.

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland. "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km)".

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

The forecast suggests as much as 40in of rain over seven days along the coast, with the deluge continuing even as the centre of the storm pushes its way over the Appalachian Mountains.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100mph, but that is still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and the likelihood of it lingering around the coast for days - would bring seawater surging on to land and torrential downpours.

He also urged those outside of the evacuation zones to be prepared. "Don't play games with it".

Carolinas
Hurricane Florence Game Time
“Storm of the century?” Or all hype? Florence finally shows its hand
Carolinas Hurricane Florence Game Time “Storm of the century?” Or all hype? Florence finally shows its hand

"The President offered his support and reiterated the federal government's willingness to help with whatever is needed", Mrs. Sanders said in a statement to White House pool reporters.

A flight-tracking service says about 1,200 US airline flights scheduled for Thursday or Friday have been canceled, with some airports in the Carolinas essentially shut down.

Airlines had also canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

The two hardware chains said they sent a total of around 1,100 trucks.

Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"We just thought we'd go out while we still can", said Amy Baxter, on a walk near the city's waterfront with her husband, two sons and dog.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia. The timing of the official landfall could change with any shift in Florence's track over the next 12-18 hours.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty. "It is imperative that everyone follow local evacuation orders".

The offer comes as Mr. Trump comes under bipartisan criticism for denying almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

When will Hurricane Florence hit Charlotte?

Florence leaves at least four dead, downgraded to tropical storm
Through the day, the storm's pace slowed even more, from 10 miles per hour Thursday morning to 3 miles per hour by Friday evening. A fourth person reportedly was killed while plugging in a generator in the state's Lenoir County, according to U.S. media.

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