Time almost up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast

Science

Florence, a Category 3 hurricane, was about 370 miles (595 km) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 km per hour), the Miami, Florida-based weather forecaster said. The Gamecocks announced Wednesday afternoon that Saturday's scheduled game against Marshall in Williams-Brice Stadium has been canceled due to the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.

National Hurricane CenterWilmington is likely to experience high storm surges of up to 13 feet from Hurricane Florence. "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in".

According to the National Weather Service, even though Florence is moving swiftly to the northwest, it is believed that the hurricane will stall and meander near the Carolina coast from Thursday night to Saturday. And forecasts show those currents just not giving the storm any sense direction in a day or so. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper warned.

Mr Cooper's warnings were echoed by his SC counterpart, Henry McMaster, who stated that emergency services may not be able to reach residents if they remain in areas where evacuation orders have been issued.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

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

More than 1.7 million people were warned to evacuate and get out of the way of the "life-threatening" storm's path.

Hurricane force winds will emanate up to 70 miles from the centre of the storm, say meteorologists.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening (35), who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington. "We just need to figure out how to make it through". Tidal creeks throughout Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties will also be at risk. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding. "It's a big one", he said at the White House. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do".

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