Weakening winds from Hurricane Florence approach the Carolinas

Weakening winds from Hurricane Florence approach the Carolinas

Weakening winds from Hurricane Florence approach the Carolinas

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage. The storm surge could rise up to 13 feet - that's water inundating homes up to the first-floor ceiling, the National Hurricane Center said.

At 7 a.m., Florence was centered just 5 miles (10 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Whether you're hunkered down in the Carolinas or following the storm's movements from afar, there are many ways to watch Florence live as it creeps over the ocean and begins to hit land. The storm was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour.

And now, many more people, houses and buildings are set to endure hurricane-force winds, which extend 80 miles out from the center of Florence.

North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said people could still leave flood-prone areas.

The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.

But the biggest danger could be life-threatening storm surges.

None of the people rescued were injured.

The outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) as the monster storm moved in for an extended stay along the Southeastern coast, promising to drench the properties of 10 million people with enormous amounts of water.

"I just hope that people will not decide to write off the storm, and that's the most important thing to save peoples's lives".

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

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Services and flights have been suspended on Thursday and Friday at Wilmington International Airport on North Carolina's coast. Florence's heavy rains could cause an environmental disaster if waste from hog manure pits, coal ash dumps and other industrial sites wash into homes or threaten drinking water supplies.

Hurricane Florence has developed into a major storm over extremely warm water, Ginis said.

"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

Prisoners were affected, too. These could be as high as 13ft (4m) along parts of the North Carolina coast.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

Around midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington. Ocean water flowed between homes and on to streets on the Outer Banks; waves crashed against wooden fishing piers.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.

The National Hurricane Center warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state. Maximum sustained winds are near 110 miles per hour with higher gusts.

This doesn't mean that the storm isn't just as risky, as the bulk of the damage and possible loss of life will likely come from the 9-foot storm surge or up to 40 inches of rain that meteorologists are predicting.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago. With that said, the President made a tweet this morning which was not only irresponsible, but also a blatant lie.

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