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Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence
14 September 2018, 07:17 | Dale Webster
A child looks on as a man boards up a mobile home in Wilmington ahead of the hurricane
Florence is now a Category 2 hurricane, but could strengthen a bit before making landfall. It has slowed down and will continue to do so moving to the northwest at 5 miles per hour. Top winds near the center of the storm have decreased to 100 miles per hour - Category 2, but the strong winds have also spread out, which will result in the storm surge over a larger area.
Although the storm is approaching the USA coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.
Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.
"Get prepared on the East Coast", Gerst warned when Tweeting the photo.
More than 100 people are waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles in New Bern, N.C., after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area.
The U.S. military evacuated Marine, Navy and Army bases in and around the storm's path, as thousands of Red Cross disaster aid workers and emergency linemen began arriving at the Carolina coast this week.
Air Force General Terrence J O'Shaughnessy, head of US Command, said search and rescue is a top priority but that the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of rescuers.
Ken Graham, the director of the NHC, said: "It truly is really about the whole size of this storm". The center is now about 100 miles from North Carolina.
Undeniably enormous, and frightfully powerful, the storm has captured the imagination of astronauts watching over it from orbit. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said.
Forecasters say the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina. Tropical-Storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles from the center. That's enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.
About 10 million people live in areas that were under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings and watches Thursday.
The region can also expect to be without several services for an extended time.
Businesses, online groups and other individuals also offered assistance to evacuees.
The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.
In addition, the home rental company AirBnb activated its emergency "Open Homes" program this week for owners wanting to volunteer their houses to evacuees, and program membership doubled from 250 to more than 500 from Wednesday to Thursday.
Florence has it all: Hot ocean temperatures that fuel hurricanes. "They need to shelter in place". "A hurricane is like a forced vacation that you might not be able to afford".
Salvo, NC to North Carolina/Virginia Border: 2-4′.
"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.
"One family had a cat give birth to kittens right before they left; now they have 17 cats", Mr. Brady said. "Someone is driving up a horse".
"We're not the Grand Hyatt, but it's an option for people", said Mr. Brady, who thanked everyone for the comments on his post, which has been viewed nearly 1 million times.
But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent". Eight churches and several restaurants are supplying free meals for evacuees until at least Tuesday night.
The city assured those who were trapped that help was on the way.
That's because in addition to the extensive flooding, the hurricane is expected to knock out power along the coast, according to an analysis done by a team headed by Seth Guikema, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of MI.
"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said on Thursday. Cooper said 30,000 people statewide were without power as of 5 p.m. Thursday, "and that number is rising".
A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore. "You never know where there are active downed powerlines that could cause an electric situation", Parker says.
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In Myrtle Beach, ABC correspondent Pete Combs painted a starker picture of those who made a decision to stay in place. But, knowing the intensity of Florence's impact on Myrtle Beach, "My friends are worrying me right now", Combs said.
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