Hurricane Florence: Carolinas brace for 'storm of lifetime'

First Warning Forecast Florence Moving Closer

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 100 miles per hour (155 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

At least 88,000 people were without power in North Carolina with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to the state's emergency management agency.

Local utility crews are traveling east to the North Carolina coast to help with restoration efforts in preparation for large numbers of power outages caused by Hurricane Florence.

Florence is expected to make landfall about 8 a.m. Friday, then stall over the Wilmington region, dumping up to 35 inches of rain and prompting worry of "extreme" flash flooding.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence reached North Carolina Thursday as officials continued to warn of the damaging nature of the monster Category 2 storm. The storm was a risky Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm Thursday. More flights were expected to be grounded and more airports were preparing to shut down operations as the storm moves inland.

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. People in the Carolinas had the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm.

Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land, the murkier its future gets. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina on Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

By the time it leaves, it's expected to have unloaded 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said.

This satellite image of Florence hurtling towards the east coast on Wednesday gives a sense of its massive scale.

Because the storm was so strong earlier in the week, it built up a wall of water which will push inland as the storm surge.

Brock, meanwhile, said the surges "are going to be a major problem way up into the streams and tributaries that come out of sound areas". He asked citizens in danger zones to heed warnings because "your time is running out". "Inland flooding kills a lot of people".

Hurricane Florence maintains strength as it nears coast
One emergency official said it will be a "Mike Tyson punch" to the area. We spoke to those braced for Florence's looming arrival. Media captionWhy do people ignore hurricane warnings?

In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, Hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the USA east coast as seen from the International Space Station.

Tens of thousands of people are already without power.

"This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina", Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning.

The surge is bad news, but even worse news is how long it could last.

Her friend Kate is refusing to evacuate as well because of "the idea of having to leave with my two cats and go somewhere for a week or more".

"I'm not going to lie: I'm scared", she said.

Hurricane Florence will be one of the biggest storms to make landfall along the USA eastern seaboard in decades.

The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse.

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.

General O'Shaughnessy said there were about 7,000 USA military personnel now in place and ready to respond to the storm, along with ships, helicopters, high-wheeled vehicles and other equipment.

US President Donald Trump touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Apple iPhone XR - Hands On
Are people mad about it? Apple's special media event is now in the books and, per usual, there's a whole lot to pore over. If you want to connect your wired headphones to your shiny new iPhone, you'll now need to pay £9 for a headphone adapter.

SC coastline battered as Hurricane Florence lands
As of Thursday, all flights to Charleston and Raleigh, North Carolina, have been canceled out of Miami International Airport. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Twitter appalled by Erik Karlsson trade
Nine years ago on September 12, 2009, the Senators dealt winger Dany Heatley to the Sharks on the first day of camp. Lee, who was also GM of the Senators' AHL affiliate, resigned from both jobs with the organization last month.

Jaguars' Leonard Fournette to miss practice Thursday
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone says the team continues to plan to take Fournette and his injury day by day. So, it's going to be a great environment for football - 4:30 game, so everyone's going to be watching.

Superstar Reveals What Sets Ronaldo Apart From Lionel Messi
Everyone who has worked with him speaks of that hard work and determination to be better than every player who has preceded him. We don't have any huge issues with these ratings.

Flu vaccine remains a shot in the dark
The vaccine will be matched to four strains this year, including H3N2 (the dominant strain last year). The CDC says about 80 percent of those children did not get the vaccination.

Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast
At 2 a.m., the storm was centered 625 miles (1,005 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph (28 kph). A risky storm surge will come before the massive storm makes landfall late Friday or early Saturday.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Season Pass Includes Assassin's Creed III Remastered
We were pretty impressed by what we discovered, so here are 7 Things you can do when you start Assassin's Creed Odyssey . The latest in the Assassin's Creed line drops for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC players on October 5th.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery preparing for 'difficult' Newcastle United test
Ozil appears to be carrying a hangover from the 2018 World Cup which resulted in him quitting the Germany national team citing racism and discrimination.

'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' gets its very creepy first trailer
It also stars Ross Lynch as Harvey, Richard Coyle as Father Blackwood, Lucy Davis as Aunt Hilda and Miranda Otto as Aunt Zelda. Annnnd.well, it doesn't sound much like the Sabrina we've been used to.

Brady appreciates Ramsey leaving him off list of QBs that 'suck'
Whoever goes against him, I'm very confident that they'll hold it down, and I'll do my job and I'll hold it down where I'm at". He gets going sometimes out on the field, I've seen him". "My mindset is to prepare as if I'm playing", he said.

Westminster terror attack was ’82 seconds of terrible drama’
He said: 'His courageous actions that day did not surprise me. "It is my belief that Masood acted alone", he told the court. She added: "No words will bring Kurt back or anyone else who has died senselessly in such cowardly attacks on humanity".

David Wright Will Play His Last Game on Mets Final Homestand
Lucie, where he hit.171 with a double and two RBIs in 41 at-bats during 10 games for St. The 35-year old began his latest comeback in August at Class A St.

Sombra Demon Hunter skin announced for BlizzCon 2018
Admittedly, we don't know exactly when the new skin will arrive there, but I don't think it will take Blizzard all that long. An Overwatch player on Reddit spotted the skin in-game and took a bunch of screenshots showing off the Demon Hunter skin.

Mark Carney agrees to stay at Bank of England until January 2020
Carney was previously set to leave his role in June 2019 but has been persuaded to stay on by Chancellor Philip Hammond . Having an inexperienced leader at Threadneedle Street at such a moment would nearly certainly be unhelpful.

Other news