'Monster' Hurricane Florence aims to drench Carolinas | KYW

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Hurricane conditions will likely hit on Friday, but tropical storm conditions will arrive on Thursday, according to the hurricane center.

Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the states in decades.

Oklahkma helicopter crews will stay in Tennessee until the high winds pass from the hurricane and then assist the Carolinas and East Coast as needed, Macy reported. With Hurricane Florence set to wallop the area as a Category 4 hurricane, there are fears the ponds could overflow or even collapse amid extremely heavy rain, sending vast amounts of manure from thousands of farms into rivers and contaminating groundwater.

Authorities, including President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are urging residents in the Carolinas as well as parts of Virginia and Georgia to evacuate as the storm continues its path.

Florence is predicted to make an overnight landfall Friday west of Wilmington, NC.

Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and the National Hurricane Center fears the storm "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and unsafe rainfall event Friday-Sunday". North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

Caitie Sweeney of Myrtle Beach texts her family while visiting the beach ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center said the hurricane's peak winds have decreased slightly to 125 mph but the size of the wind field has increased to outwards of 70 miles from the center.

The National Weather Service said 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches. Florence is now heading for ocean water with surface temperatures of around 85 degrees, meaning it will likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.

Satellite images show the storm has maintained a distinct eye and is well organized.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast, bringing days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC, where some areas could see as much as 40 inches (1m) of rain, to Virginia. She said it will become a "major flooding event".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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