Hurricane Florence starts its prolonged assault on the Carolinas

Food Lion employee Greg Partin helps a customer to her car on Monday Sept. 10 2018 at the Woodcroft shopping center in Durham N.C. Residents of eastern and central North Carolina are stripping grocery shelves and emptying supplies of gasoline as Hurric

Food Lion employee Greg Partin helps a customer to her car on Monday Sept. 10 2018 at the Woodcroft shopping center in Durham N.C. Residents of eastern and central North Carolina are stripping grocery shelves and emptying supplies of gasoline as Hurric

At last report, the storm was about 180 kilometers east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 270 kilometers east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The fierce winds of Hurricane Florence are weakening as it creeps closer to North Carolina but the impact of the vast storm will still be catastrophic for millions of people.

"A weak Category 3 and a strong Category 2 are pretty close to each other, if you just think about category. But they may not be that much different in terms of wind speed", said Luettich.

Its viewership was up 10 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to Nielsen - 2017 was a particularly active year for hurricanes hitting the United States - and its viewership is even growing among younger audiences, something few cable channels can claim. Projections as of 5:00am EST on September 13, 2018. "The storm surge forecast associated with this storm has not changed". Like a giant hair dryer, these winds push seawater into low-lying marshland and delta areas.

"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance", Landsea said: There's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles off shore versus heading inland immediately. But while the storm is predicted to pass near Wilmington, North Carolina, the majority of surge-related flooding will actually be to north near Pamlico Sound. The storm is expected to linger, dumping several centimeters of rain in affected areas and causing widespread destruction. We only need to remember that tropical storm Irene was not a hurricane when it created tremendous damage to homes and covered bridges in Vermont in 2011. That makes it hard to project how the region will ultimately be affected.

Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

State officials and the National Weather Service warned the storm's weakening only relates to wind speed, not surges or flooding. His group, the Office of Water Prediction and Luettich's team are working together to build such models now.

"This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina", Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning.

And the storm is still expected to bring catastrophic winds, rain, storm surges and flooding, the National Hurricane Center briefing said. That is now the case in the Carolinas - the state sent Maryland Task Force One, an urban search-and-rescue team based in Rockville, to SC on Wednesday.

Flooding risks are also causing worries over the more than 300 wild horses living on North Carolina's coasts. "Once you leave, you don't know how many days it will be before you can return", she said.

"A lot of our storefronts are boarded up", said Lynn Davis, town manager for Belhaven which sits at sea level in northeastern North Carolina.

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but reconsidered due to its ferocity.

The Hurricane Florence has began to unleash fierce rains across the USA southeast.

Authorities pushed back against any suggestion the storm's threat was exaggerated.

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