Hurricane Florence: Weather Channel shows simulation of 9-foot waters

Hurricane Florence: Weather Channel shows simulation of 9-foot waters

Hurricane Florence: Weather Channel shows simulation of 9-foot waters

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 115 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning.

As of 11 p.m. EST, Florence was about 50 miles south of Morehead City, North Carolina, and 60 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

More than 80,000 people are already without power, and forecasters have warned that conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore in the early hours of Friday morning.

"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power. "Today the threat becomes a reality". Evacuations have begun for people who live in the path of the hurricane which is expected to last a few days.

Don't relax, don't get complacent.

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"Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighbourhood and making sure my neighbours are fine, because nobody can get in here".

Sixteen kilometres away in the city of Wilmington, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.

"You can see there's fish floating around in here", she said. "I am frightened about what's coming. We just need to figure out how to make it through".

Hurricane Florence's leading edge is battering the Carolina coast, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets, as the hulking storm closes in with 160kph winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through thigh-high water in residential neighbourhoods.

The are is also experiencing some power outages.

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He said the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of the state-activated National Guard troops.

Strom surge that was projected between nine and twelve feet in Pamlico Sound and the Pamlico and Neuse rivers was expected to cause a "tremendous amount of inland flooding", said Neil Jacobs, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The storm will be a test of President Donald Trump's administration less than two months before elections to determine control of Congress.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago.

The MISR passed over the hurricane on Thursday, NASA said.

Another Wilmington resident said she did not want to leave because she was afraid to see what she would come back to after the storm.

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"I think I could survive a long time".

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