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Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 1 storm
16 September 2018, 04:43 | Dale Webster
Hurricane Florence likely to affect southeast US energy infrastructure: EIA - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Before, the National Hurricane Center feared that Florence would make landfall as a Category 4 storm. Except - and we don't mean to jinx it - but the storm *is* heading further south from here and the wind did die down a bit so who is to say it didn't work entirely?
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
Hurricane Florence is on a path of destruction that will put millions of people at risk and threaten billions of dollars in property damage, centered on the Carolinas, through this weekend. Weather forecasters also warn that the threat of tornadoes is increasing as the system draws closer to land.
It's expected to move inland at southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.
"We've seen fatalities and deaths from tropical storms, from Category 1 storms and from Category 2 storms", SCEMD's Becker said.
The storm is moving in a northwesterly direction at about 9 km/h.
Speaking on Thursday, North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, said: "We can not underestimate this storm".
That scenario has a high probability of occurring in much of North Carolina, a large portion of SC and parts of northern Georgia.
Rain begins to fall as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence make landfall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 13, 2018. People in the Carolinas had the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm.
In Morehead City, the rain and surf pounded the shoreline and took aim at the few boats still in the water. Further inland, rain totals could reach 30 cm in the Carolinas, and up to 24 cm in the rest of the Carolinas and in southwestern Virginia.
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.
The hurricane is expected to generate heavy rainfall in southeast North Carolina and into northeastern SC.
Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated. North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up.
"Your time is running out", he warned.
The expert's remarks come amid a series of reports of people who refused to evacuate. "Leaving is such a problem with the traffic going out", Jennie told VOA Thursday afternoon as she strolled along the shore of Carolina Beach near Wilmington, North Carolina. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". Sixty-one shelters have opened in SC - 12 designated for evacuees with special medical needs - able to accommodate more than 31,000 additional people.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
President Donald Trump is expected to travel to areas hit by Florence next week, once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts, the White House said on Friday. "We'll handle it. We're ready. 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.
Hurricane Florence from space
Florence's winds have dropped from a peak of 140mph to 105mph, reducing the hurricane from a Category 4 to a Category 2. Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. "It's a big one", he said.
NASA footage reveals the 'menacing' Hurricane Florence
The ocean waters that Florence is travelling over are about 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) warmer than normal, McNoldy said. Thinking of the outages likely to come, it also warns to use grills and generators outside - away from doors and windows.