Cleveland natives make it home as Hurricane Florence cancels thousands of flights

Head Coach Dan Hunt with Colgate University

Forecasters also say the storm surge - or wall of water - that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore, could cause normally dry areas to be flooded by up to 4 meters of water moving inland.

Most of the damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in North Carolina came from inland flooding - 31 people died and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed.

Betty Baun said she has been volunteering for the Red Cross since the '80s.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night. That created some confusion and, officials feared, complacency.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", he said. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact-and we have that". Storm surge and hurricane warnings are in effect for Morehead City.

"Don't relax", Cooper said on Thursday.

Cooper also wanted to remind folks to not drive on roads covered by water, and to stay away from doors and windows during the worst of the storm. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said.

After landfall, the storm is expected to linger over the area for a few days, which would result in rising river levels and lakes.

Still, the storm has the capacity for huge destruction.

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This NASA photo shows Hurricane Florence churning over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the U.S. East Coast as seen from the International Space Station on Wednesday.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated.

She said a big part of the job is "getting to know people and how to judge people in a lot of different ways and learning how to come to their needs". "This is not one that's going to hit the coast and pass through quickly".

He said that people living near rivers, streams and lowland areas in the region were most at risk.

"Your time is running out", he warned those who had not yet heeded the warning to evacuate. As of Thursday afternoon the storm was generating sustained winds of 105mph, as storm surge water has begun to rush into homes and streets along beachside communities.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year. He warned residents to be prepared to be without electricity "for a long time" in the storm's aftermath.

Ken Graham, the director of the NHC, said: "It truly is really about the whole size of this storm". But then they gradually diverge.

Some 11,000 power outages have been reported in North Carolina.

North Carolina will see up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period, National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing. They said the military had made sites, including Fort Bragg, North Carolina, available to FEMA as staging areas for relief equipment and had put helicopters and high-wheeled vehicles at the ready in different sites in the southeast for search and rescue use.

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