Hurricane Florence Shifts South as Carolinas Hunker Down

Hurricane Florence Shifts South as Carolinas Hunker Down

Hurricane Florence Shifts South as Carolinas Hunker Down

Even if you know nothing about hurricanes, an unavoidable sense of doom and destruction overtakes you when you look at this image of Hurricane Florence as it moves inexorably toward North and SC.

Florence has been downgraded from a Category 4 to a 2, but the storm surges could put the Carolina coast under as much as 13 feet of ocean water. Its trajectory showed its center most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour. More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

A hurricane warning is in effect for a big chunk of the Carolina coast, from the South Santee River below Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Duck, N.C. - part of the Outer Banks. Residents should expect to see higher tides than usual on the James and York rivers, as well as possible flooding and beach erosion.

The surge in power outages along the coast is the result of gusts coming off Hurricane Florence and knocking trees into power lines, said Lisa Crawley, a spokeswoman for the co-ops.

One such tool helping hurricane-watchers keep track of Florence is the appropriately-named Hurricane Tracker app. Further inland, rain totals could reach 30 centimeters in the Carolinas, and up to 24 centimeters in the rest of the Carolinas and in southwestern Virginia.

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Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear-skies high-pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI.

The problem from this hurricane is going to be its slow movement. Hundreds of thousands of people have already evacuated.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

Her friend Kate is refusing to evacuate as well because of "the idea of having to leave with my two cats and go somewhere for a week or more".

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

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Train travel: Amtrak has announced cancellations on northbound and southbound trains going through North and SC.

As Florence drew near, US President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad. South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that protecting lives is his "absolute highest priority".

Isha Renta, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office, said while the forecast may look humdrum for the region, "we can not discount" the storm. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".

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