'Don't play games with it': Florence takes aim at Carolinas

15 September, 2018, 09:58 | Author: Sherry Houston
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On Wednesday, forecasters projected Florence - now a category 4 hurricane - will likely slow down and turn south after slamming the East Coast.

By Friday night the center of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, risky surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes. "Heed those warnings and evacuate if you're in one of the zones".

More than 60 people, including an infant, children and their pets, were rescued from a collapsing hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the height of the storm, according to the Associated Press.

A view of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station. Those areas are expected to experience tropical storm conditions and rainfall amount of up to 8 inches, and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands facing possible isolated amounts on 4 inches.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

President Trump says the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders are poised to help - but he also warned people to get out of the storm's path.

"Between the lines: Hurricane Florence could become the strongest hurricane on record to strike so far north if it makes landfall north of the border between SC and North Carolina as a Category 4 or 5 storm".

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"We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able, we've got the finest people I think anywhere in the world", he added in a video message posted on his Twitter account.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long urged people to prepare for a "very devastating storm", with possibly weeks-long power outages.

People who thought they were safe from the onslaught of Hurricane Florence began boarding up and Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday as uncertainty over the path of the monster storm spread worry along the Southeastern coast.

"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.

The dead included a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. "In addition to the ongoing, unsafe storm surge and flash flooding, will be a long-term river flood threat WELL INLAND as very heavy rainfall continues to fall in the coming days"'.

"I rode out Hugo", Miller said of a 1989 hurricane that caused widespread damage.

A hurricane warning along with a storm surge warning has been issued for Wilmington and surrounding areas.

By Saturday, total rainfall could accumulate to 30 inches (76 centimeters) - or even 40 inches in places - in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the NHC said. In South Carolina and inland parts of North Carolina, 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall, with 20 inches possible in some areas.

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