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Hurricane Florence's path: What to expect and when

Hurricane Florence's path: What to expect and when

"We could cover several states easily with the cloud cover alone", Graham said.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings went up Tuesday along the coast of both Carolinas.

North Carolina's governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for the state's barrier islands as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast. As of midday on Tuesday, Florence remains a powerful category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. Current estimates are as high as 10-to-20 feet of surge in coastal North Carolina (west of the Outer Banks).

Projected rainfall from Hurricane Florence.

Long cautioned coastal residents via Twitter of storm surges up to 12ft - "rapid rise of water that is overwhelming and deadly".

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE", he tweeted.

States of emergency have also been declared in Maryland and Virginia.

McMaster rescinded the order Tuesday for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties - less than 24 hours after he placed an evacuation order on the state's entire coastline. Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane - Hazel, with 130mph winds, in 1954. As the storm encounters the highlands of North Carolina and Virginia, it will likely increase its rate of precipitation.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway - the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities.

As of noon Tuesday, the storm was about 1,230 miles southeast of the Cape Fear region, according to the National Weather Service.

"This is going to produce heavy rainfall, and it may not move very fast".

Among the things in Florence's path are at least five military bases (tens of thousands of troops and their families are evacuating), half a dozen nuclear power plants (power bosses have said they would be shut down about 12 hours before being hit), and numerous pits of industrial waste. It was the first time South Caroline has reversed its highways for an evacuation since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

All signs pointed to a stronger, slower, wider and wetter hurricane in the days ahead, forecasters said.

AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said: "There will be extensive damage inflicted by Hurricane Florence due to its predicted path, which is perpendicular to the coast, rather than at an oblique angle".

After briefly shrinking, and almost closing over Monday night, the eye of the hurricane has expanded to 32 miles wide, as of 4 p.m., according to Anderson.

- After the storm makes landfall, rain will become a major threat.

American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines have all posted information for travelers online about fee-free changes to affected itineraries this week. Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different.

Southwest Airlines said travelers booked to fly from six cities from Baltimore to SC can rebook their flights within 14 days of their original dates with no additional cost.


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