Slow Moving Hurricane Florence To Bring More Rain To Pittsburgh Area

Two horses on a February day on the beach in Corolla North Carolina

Two horses on a February day on the beach in Corolla North Carolina

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the Hurricane Center said.

The storm's center was about 170 miles southeast of Wilmington at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a National Hurricane Center briefing.

The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather.

Another video from NOAA's GOES-East weather satellite caught a different view of Hurricane Florence.

Florence's center will approach the North and SC coasts late Thursday and Friday.

The storm surge - often the most perilous risk to life posed by any hurricane - is expected to inundate areas along the coast with saltwater that's 9 to 13 feet deep, from Cape Fear, N.C., to Cape Lookout, N.C.

By midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Some schools in inland counties will be used as shelters, and officials urged families with pets to board them with veterinarians, kennels or other facilities in nonvulnerable areas.

"I've watched all the weather and read the local stuff", another resident said.

He said: "We are ready but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country".

Roy Cooper urged residents in evacuation areas of his state to get out while they still can.

"Don't relax, don't get complacent".

About 10 million people are in the sights of the storm as it zeroes in on the Southeastern coast.

"Its been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

The threat of storm surges loom for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible in the next 36 hours.

The other threat for those living along the coast is the wall of water known as storm surge that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore.

The storm has a wide reach, too. But previous research has shown that the strongest hurricanes are getting wetter, more intense and intensifying faster because of human-caused climate change.

More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

A smaller hurricane dubbed Isaac is reportedly heading for the Caribbean, while Hurricane Helene - now also in the Atlantic - is forecast to track towards the UK. And Florence's large wind field will add to the perils as the storm grinds over beaches and inland.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated, " he said. "I never got the sense that I needed to leave".

If you're in the path of this storm, get out of it. Pack your stuff into the attic and your auto, grab the preferred kids, pets, and spouse, and head inland.

As Hurricane Florence barrels towards the US East Coast, millions are evacuating, boarding up windows and stockpiling water.

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