Everything you need to know about Hurricane Florence

Jan Cross
September 17, 2018

Hurricane Helene and Subtropical Storm Joyce were off in the Atlantic, posing no threat. It's predicted the fierce weather system will linger over the Carolina coast for days, not hours.

Florence is forecast to make landfall near southeast North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane early Friday morning, "bringing extreme wind and sea conditions" reminiscent of a much stronger storm, meteorologists said.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.

Hurricane-force winds, which stretch up to 80 miles from the storm's center, will be felt in North and SC by Thursday night.

Tropical-force winds extend 200 miles from the middle of the storm, meaning coastal North Carolina is already feeling their power.

So far, a state of emergency has been declared in five states - South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland and Washington DC.

It is expected that the hurricane moves on or near the coastline during the night of Thursday through Friday.

Besides inundating the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (four meters) along the Carolina coast, Florence could dump 20 to 30 inches (51-76 cm) of rain over much of the region.

More than 10 million people live in areas under warnings or watches for hurricane- or tropical storm- force winds, CNN reports. Now, there are signs that Hurricane Florence could deliver a similar blow to the East Coast beginning on Thursday, making it even more important to evacuate before the storm arrives.

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.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter. "Don't play games with it".

A storm front is seen on the beach in North Topsail Beach North Carolina prior to Hurricane Florence moving toward the

Long, the DHS IG's office, and the White House all did not respond to Politico's requests for comment. Duke Energy is expected anywhere from 1-3 million power outages across the Carolinas due to the storm.

Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centres to get generators, rubbish bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

A man walks his dogs before Hurricane Florence comes ashore on Carolina Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 13, 2018. "We're going to be there to help", Cooper said.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

"The satellite presentation of Florence has changed little overnight with the eye waxing and waning in infrared imagery", according to the NHC's discussion of the hurricane.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty and storm stress.

It is now heading towards the US East Coast that it is predicted to hit on Friday.

With their entire neighbourhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. "If you're blowing 100 or 120 miles per hour on homes, they're going to start to deteriorate. Now it might be time for the exam", he said.

"Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials..."

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern. Three other Southern raceways also opened campgrounds to evacuees.

Usually when a storm approaches the coast, forecasters can tell with ever-increasing accuracy who will get walloped.

Around the same time Florence makes landfall, the steering winds pushing it forward will die down.

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