Hurricane Florence: What we know and what to expect

Hurricane Florence: What we know and what to expect

Hurricane Florence: What we know and what to expect

Florence is expected to approach the coast of North Carolina and SC late Thursday and Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A family enjoys the surf ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Oak Island, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were clocked late on Wednesday at 110 miles per hour (175 kph), down from a peak of 140 mph a day earlier, before it was downgraded to a Category 3, then a Category 2, on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind strength.

Besides inundating the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (4 meters) along the Carolina coast, Florence could dump 20 to 30 inches (51-76 cm) of rain, with up to 40 inches in parts of North Carolina, the NHC said.

Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student paper, The Daily Tar Heel, reported that class has been canceled and students have been encouraged to leave the Chapel Hill area before the storm hits.

Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water.

A "storm surge watch" is issued when flooding is possible, while a "warning" is issued when flooding is expected.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.

Almost 9,00,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas early on Friday, utility officials said.

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The streets of coastal towns of the States of North and SC in the United States was flooded by sea water.

"It's going to coming roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say 'I'm not sure I really want to do this and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland, '" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground. Meteorologists are warning residents of inland Virginia, North Carolina, and SC of possible inland flooding if the storm stalls out as many models are predicting.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the US are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

But the NHC warned that Florence still poses a deadly threat to a wide stretch of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, from southern Georgia into southern Virginia, and remained capable of unleashing rain-fuelled catastrophic flooding of rivers and low-lying areas. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.

Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land.

In Wilmington, Solange Iliou Thompson closed down her restaurant, Indochine, because all of her employees had left the city.

"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said. "The building's solid and Buddha will protect us".

But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, drenching coastal communities for hours on end.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

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