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'Monster' storm Florence: What you need to know

'Monster' storm Florence: What you need to know

"The storm surge. This is the most unsafe part of the storm", said NBC News forecaster Al Roker, "Do not pay attention to the category".

The centre of Florence, which is no longer classified as a major hurricane but still posing a grave threat to life and property, is expected to strike North Carolina's southern coast on Friday.

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 140 miles per hour to 105 miles per hour by Thursday, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2. "This storm is extremely unsafe.

This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast' from Thursday into the weekend, Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator Jeff Byard said Wednesday morning".

On Wednesday morning, Florence was extending hurricane-force winds outward up to 70 miles from its center, with tropical-storm-force winds up to 175 miles outward.

President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way.

"Don't play games with it". Meacham says the state can house more than 35,000 people if needed.

The storm was about 100 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 155 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as of 5 p.m. EDT.

"Little change in strength is expected before the eye of Florence reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland", the Miami-based NHC said.

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of most of the state's coastline as the storm approaches.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.

Home Depot and Lowe's, the two US major hardware chains, said they sent around 1,000 trucks of generators, trash bags and bottled water and other items to their stores in the region as emergency response, according to local media reports. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1100 trucks.

"Several million will probably lose power".

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help deal with what could be weeks of power outages in the aftermath, the company said.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

To put the rain in perspective, Wilmington's three-day rainfall record was 19.66 inches set in 2010, said Jordan Baker, a meteorologist with the NWS Wilmington office.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty.

Florence, however, continues to threaten the east coast as a fierce storm that could trigger flooding as far south as Georgia.

Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the U.S., said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.

The shift in the projected track spread concern to areas that once thought they were relatively safe.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

"We've had our lessons".

Sandbags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, N.C., September 12, 2018, as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast.

In the North Carolina town of Wilmington, which could take a direct hit from Florence, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

"Just because we have a landfall to your south, that doesn't mean you're out of the woods, because the winds are huge around this system", NHC Director Ken Graham said, pointing out the wide risk of flooding.

He said: "We are ready but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country". Catastrophic river flooding and flash flooding will occur for a large portion of eastern North and SC.


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