Florence to approach the Carolinas coast later Thursday…

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence

The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 13, 2018.

Hurricane Florence's top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kilometres per hour) to 110 mph (175 kph) as its outer rain bands approached the North Carolina coast early Thursday, reducing the storm from Category 4 to Category 2.

Adding to concerns, forecasters warned the larger and slow-moving storm could linger for days around the coast, leaving many without power and supplies.

According to the National Hurricane Center's "hurricane hunter" airplane, waves of 83-feet were measured near the eye of Florence on Monday.

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.

In the past century, only seven major hurricanes have hit the SC and North Carolina coasts.

But barber Josh Dais says the island's 5,000 residents now are trying to decide whether to flee ahead of Hurricane Florence.

"There's more to the story than the category", said Brian McNoldy, a researcher at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.

Abrams says he expects Hurricane Florence to bring 10 to 20 inches of rain in most places and that the Carolinas can expect extensive flooding.

Brenda Bethune told NBC's "Today" show Thursday morning that public safety crews have been checking to make sure businesses are secure, and looking for anything that could become a projectile as the winds come ashore. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical storm force winds up to 195 miles. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm. More than four million people live in areas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorised as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts.

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation? The shopping list for people who have chose to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that has since been downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a hotel in Wilmington several miles inland.

"I said, 'Why get on the road like this?" The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

"If you're going to leave - and you should leave - if you have not left these evacuation zones, you should leave now because time is running out", McMaster said.

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