Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 1 storm

16 September, 2018, 03:24 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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Florence's center will approach the North and SC coasts late Thursday and Friday.

Forecasters say the combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

Even though the one-time Category 4 tempest has been downgraded to a Category 2, it's still packing lethal 100-mph winds and the potential for 13-foot storm surges and 40 inches of rain, officials warned.

"With the extreme storm surge along the coast, rivers will start to overflow".

In its 0300 GMT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the maximum sustained winds of Florence were 150kph, dropping it to the weakest of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists believe this zone to extend from near Morehead City, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and may extend inland to more than 25 miles.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School.

For Western North Carolina, the storm is not going to be felt until Saturday. "I've got four cats inside the house".

In the North Carolina town of Wilmington, which could take a direct hit from Florence, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River. And even though meteorologists sort storms into categories by the strength of their winds, it's actually the storm surge that's most risky, as AccuWeather reported. Forecasters are predicting as much as 40in of rain in some localized areas.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the NHC said.

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 then reconsidered. But riding out Hurricane Florence in areas that are being evacuated is not a good idea, especially in light of all the devastation brought about by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria in 2017 (Puerto Rico's government recently raised the island's Maria-related death toll to 2,975 people).

"Your time is running out", he warned those who had not yet heeded the warning to evacuate.

Overall, Young says that evacuees from the coast who have fled to the mountains made the right choice.

Almost 1.7m people along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.

Almost 2 million coastal residents are now under mandatory evacuation orders, although it remains unclear how many have actually done so.

Garden City Fire District Chief Norman Knight told Murrells Inlet residents on Thursday that it was still not too late to leave. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia declared emergencies to help speed up government aid efforts.



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