Five Killed as Florence Hammers the Carolinas

Five Killed as Florence Hammers the Carolinas

Five Killed as Florence Hammers the Carolinas

The NHC said tropical storm-force winds will hit North and SC with full force on Thursday evening.

But the real threat from Florence isn't from wind, it's from water, with the National Hurricane Center warning of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

At 2pm (1800 GMT), Florence was over the Atlantic Ocean about 145 miles (230 kilometres) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and moving northwest at 10 miles per hour, the NHC said.

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.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. Storm surge warnings, hurricane warnings, and tropical storm warnings are in effect along the coast of the Carolinas.

Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help people to higher ground after rescuing them from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence in James City, North Carolina.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH tourists Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Roy Cooper urged residents in evacuation areas of his state to get out while they still can.

Airlines cancelled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

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Adding to the storm stress is uncertainty about where exactly Florence will make landfall, after a shift in its track put more of the Southeast in danger. Just because of the sheer size of it. Duke Energy is expected anywhere from 1-3 million power outages across the Carolinas due to the storm. This will bring significant storm surge to parts of the shoreline.

"The global models suggest that this shear will relax today while Florence moves over warm waters, however, given the current storm structure, little overall change in strength is anticipated as Florence approaches the coast".

Her neighbors gave her the key to their house, which is two stories and might be safer from flooding, she said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that President Trump spoke with North Carolina Senator Thom Willis and Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo Thursday morning as their state braces for the full force of Hurricane Florence.

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

Five percent of gas stations in North Carolina were out of gas (one in 10 gas stations in Wilmington and Raleigh-Durham), while 2.1 percent in SC and 1 percent in Virginia were out.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and the likelihood of it lingering around the coast for days - would bring seawater surging on to land and torrential downpours.

"Storm surge has the highest potential to kill the most amount of people", FEMA Administrator Brock Long said. "Because I don't know that we can go in and get you".

However, the hurricane's effect on the nationwide air-travel system will be less than feared if, as now forecast, Florence veers away from the American Airlines hub airport in Charlotte, and doesn't score a direct hit on Delta Air Lines' massive hub in Atlanta.

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