Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Hurricane Florence has weakened but will still be devastating

Sandra Phillips | 13 September, 2018, 23:27

Media captionWhy do people ignore hurricane warnings? "We can not underestimate this storm".

Florence weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm on a five-step scale but had maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour) as of 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), down from 130 mph earlier in the day.

The storm was 500 miles wide at the time, with its outer bands stretching over the equivalent of a full third of the U.S. East Coast.

Conditions will deteriorate through Thursday (local time): Starting along the coast, winds will accelerate, the rain will intensify, and the ocean will surge ashore.

"We thought it was going to be easy [to forecast]", Kourounis said.

Helene is now in the Atlantic Ocean following behind Hurricane Florence, which was expected to hit the eastern coast of the United States late Thursday or early Friday.

FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC.

Still, there are several other North and SC airports in the storm's path.

If you want to know more specific information about your area, head to the National Weather Service's social media page, where you can enter your zip code and find your local forecast office.

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Forecasters warn that millions could be affected by the hurricane, and have urged mass evacuations of areas within its path. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in North and SC , thus facilitating federal aid to those states.

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National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty. The forecast was complicated because the storm was still small, allowing it to quickly change.

Isaac is expected to reach the islands, which remain under a tropical storm warning, by Thursday afternoon and cross the Caribbean through Saturday. On top of that, a disastrous amount of rain - 500mm, possibly even as much as 1m - is expected to fall. As of 8 a.m., the hurricane is predicted to make landfall along the coast of the Carolinas tomorrow (Sept. 14), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center.

Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable.

A simulation weather video is showing what the life-threatening Hurricane Florence storm surge might look like if it reaches a frightening nine feet. Cooper and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told more than 1 million people who were directed to leave that if they don't evacuate, no one will come to save them.

Storm surge warnings were issued from South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina.

By late Thursday afternoon, the Carolina coasts can expect winds topping 80 miles per hour. This includes Wilmington. A hurricane watch extends into the Charleston area. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. It's moving toward the coast at a speed of 12mph.

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.

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