Category 2 Hurricane Florence moves closer to the east coast

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

An updated track at 5 a.m. Wednesday update shows the storm changing course and moving more into SC after the hurricane would make landfall.

As of 11 p.m., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's projections for Hurricane Florence show 40-50 miles per hour winds affecting Chatham County.

Hurricane Florence, now a category three storm, continues to churn its way toward the East Coast and is predicted to hit the Carolinas by Thursday evening with a potential to impact over 10 million residents in the area. For those in any region that is forecasted to get around or above 4 to 6 inches of rain, take special note.

"Sheriff Tanner (and others) have said, if you are in an area that usually floods - if you are in a low-lying area that is not in an evacuation zone - go ahead and leave and find higher ground because you may be in danger", McMaster said.

Although wind speeds have dropped - Florence was a Category 4 on Monday with 140 miles per hour winds - the National Hurricane Center warned wind fields are still expanding, and the hurricane has more total energy, which will "create a significant storm-surge event".

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, while a tropical storm watch had gone into effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Maarten.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

Between 1 millions and 3 million people will likely lose power when Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week, according to a Wednesday report from Duke Energy.

Predictions are for Florence to be far more violent storm.

"In fact, this entire area is under a mandatory evacuation order", he said. He says: "If Mama and Grandma are going, then a lot of people are leaving".

The "Hurricane Hunter" is specially equipped and operated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to fly through storms to collect data, playing a major role in hurricane forecasting. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

"We could maybe get some outer bands or very, very outer bands of the hurricane", said Jeremy Geiger, a weather service meteorologist.

Benson has lived in North Carolina for more than a decade and now is headed away from the hurricane's destructive path.

Those risks include high winds, prolonged heavy rainfall and storm surge, he said, but the amount of each is constantly changing.

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