Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

As North Carolina residents began to feel the first modest effects of a weakened Hurricane Florence on Thursday, forecasters warned the powerful storm will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours.

Tens of thousands of people are already without power. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported "life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds" along the North Carolina coast.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by what officials called a "once in a lifetime" storm.

He said there are about 7,000 USA military forces now in place and ready to respond to the storm - along with ships, helicopters and high-wheeled vehicles.

None of the people rescued were injured.

The storm's center was about 145 miles (235 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as of Thursday night. "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said. Forecasters predict that high tides could rise as much as 3 feet above normal into Saturday in the city and in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert and Harford counties.

Isha Renta, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office, said while the forecast may look humdrum for the region, "we can not discount" the storm.

'Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you'.

Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

More than 150,000 customers in North Carolina were reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles (135 kilometers) north of Wilmington.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

The images, captured from249 miles above the storm, captured Florence as it draws close to North Carolina's coast.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 90 miles per hour (144 kph) by nightfall. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster. He compares Hurricane Florence with Hurricane Isabel, which hit the Virginia and North Carolina area at a similar strength in 2003, leaving about a million people without power and Hatteras Island battered.

Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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