Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC

Sandra Phillips | 13 September, 2018, 07:14

Officials say Hurricane Florence is likely to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally unsafe to be outside, Graham said.

Florence, now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), was previously expected to travel north, up the North Carolina coast, after making landfall, according to the statement.

Almost 3,000 National Guard troops have been put on alert in North Carolina.

Jeff Byard, an administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said: "Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?"

An estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, said Marc Chenard of the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington states have all already declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

At least eight of Boeing's 787 aircrafts were flown out of the SC factory where they are built on Tuesday.

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North Carolina electric company Duke Energy Corp is expecting between 25 percent and 75 percent of its four million customers to lose power. And if local officials recommend evacuation, evacuate immediately.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state.

Fox News reported that sustained winds were picking up a bit along the North Carolina coast.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

Data collected during the flight allows the NOAA to keep a watchful eye on the most powerful storm to date in the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, to research its speed, intensity and structure.

The forecast Wednesday afternoon reinforced projections that the storm's path will shift slightly to the southeast as it closes in on North Carolina and SC. Most other beachgoers were long gone.

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