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Everything you need to know about Hurricane Florence
16 September 2018, 11:33 | Devin Moran
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People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.
The National Hurricane Center's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.
Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm. Overall, Florence is about 400 miles (644 kilometers) wide. This satellite image show the sun rising on the storm Thursday morning. Florence is being trailed in the Atlantic by two other storms - Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac. "Life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected". Cloud cover that could encompass multiple states.
Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Georgia, crashes into waves in the surf bolstered by the incoming Hurricane Florence on the south beach of Tybee Island, Georgia. Roy Cooper urged residents in evacuation areas of his state to get out while they still can.
Scientists hypothesize that a warmer world will bring slower storms, so what we saw last year with Harvey - and now this year with Florence - could be a sign of those changes. Category 4 is 130 to 156 miles per hour. Trump doubled down Thursday morning, arguing without evidence that Maria's death toll estimate in Puerto Rico is wrong and calling it a plot by Democrats to make him "look as bad as possible". The Navy, Air Force and Army have been moving people, ships and aircrafts out of harm's way, though evacuations were not mandatory at bases such as Camp Lejeune.
Duke Energy said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. The losses won't be easily or quickly overcome.
Memorial University Medical Center received nine patients from other HCA facilities in SC and eight from Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, Memorial spokesman Dale Hooks wrote in an email. There are now fewer tourists to send away. Florence's heavy rains could cause an environmental disaster if waste from hog manure pits, coal ash dumps and other industrial sites washes into homes or threatens drinking water supplies. Landfall on the coastline of the Tar Heel State is imminent. Hundreds of miles inland, Charlotte Douglas International Airport already has more than 300 flight cancellations for Thursday and Friday, according to FlightAware.
"We are ready, but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country", said the president.
Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes. He says: "If Mama and Grandma are going, then a lot of people are leaving".
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.
Tropical Storm Florence was downgraded from a unsafe Category 1 storm Friday, but millions have still been affected.
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Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centres to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm.
Some Virginian neighbors made a decision to be cooped up with their chickens and other pets as Florence approaches. They also have three dogs and three parrots. The couple said they would have had to travel too far inland to find a hotel that would have accepted their animals as guests. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit. That forecast area also includes part of southwest Virginia. Presbyterian has cancelled its football game with Stetson on Saturday.
Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast.
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Almost 300,000 customers in North Carolina were meanwhile reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.
Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 1 storm
Rain begins to fall as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence make landfall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 13, 2018. We could be here and it actually turns out not to be that bad, but it is better safe than sorry", said the 37-year-old tailor.
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