By late Thursday afternoon, the Carolina coasts can expect winds topping 80 miles per hour. And that's just the prelude to untold days of misery.
Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia. "That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning. That puts it at the upper range of Category 2 storms, which have winds from 96 to 110 miles per hour.
"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Mr Deal said. This is just the beginning of what should be a catastrophic storm, with tens of thousands of structures expected to be flooded before it's all said and done. Florence is now a strong Category 2 storm. That's enough to fill more than 15 million Olympic-size swimming pools. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000". "So will the power lines, as the trees fall down". This implies that water, even more so than wind, is the most unsafe element of a major storm.
Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland. As of 8 a.m., the hurricane is predicted to make landfall along the coast of the Carolinas tomorrow (Sept. 14), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center. "Be careful!" Mr Trump said on Twitter earlier yesterday.
As Florence nears the east coast, meteorologists are focused on two key factors: ocean temperatures and wind sheer (the difference in speeds at the upper and lower parts of the storm).
Up to 1.7 million people are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and coastal residents were frantically boarding up homes and businesses and hitting the road on Wednesday as the storm approached.
"Heed the warnings", said Byard, adding there was "well over $20 billion" in FEMA's disaster relief fund.
Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the storm with his dog Canelo.
Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas. "It's chilling, even from space", he tweeted. The rest of South and North Carolina, including cities from Charlotte to Raleigh, can expect 6 to 12 inches of rain - and up to 2 feet in isolated areas, the NHC warned. They also instituted a 24-hour curfew.
None more so than Adam Williams, a 38-year-old security guard watching his 17-year-old son surf the first big waves as the storm approached. His home, built 1 mile inland in 2016, is raised 25 feet off the ground and is built to withstand 140-mph winds, he said.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH tourists Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. "I've got four cats inside the house". "Flooding is nearly guaranteed".
Susan Faulkenberry Panousis has stayed in her Bald Head Island, North Carolina home during prior hurricanes, but not this time.
Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School.
Georgia joined North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland in issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain - potentially 10 trillion gallons - on the southern states.
This image of Hurricane Florence was captured by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, now living and working onboard the International Space Station. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".
"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", Epperson said.
Florence is projecting hurricane-force winds outward up to 80 miles from its center; tropical-storm-force winds are swirling outward up to 195 miles away. Hurricane Helene is veering toward Europe.
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