Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

A.M. Update: Florence weakens slightly as approaches NC coast

A.M. Update: Florence weakens slightly as approaches NC coast

The National Hurricane Center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast from Thursday night until landfall Saturday morning or so, about a day later than previously expected. "I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked". But last year's Hurricane Harvey demonstrated that tremendous damage can be dealt when a storm system sits in place and dumps huge amounts of rain.

After maintaining Category 4 or 3 status most of Wednesday, Florence was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph churning about 205 miles southeast of Wilmington, according to a 5 a.m. briefing by the National Hurricane Center.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast' from Thursday into the weekend, Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator Jeff Byard said Wednesday morning".

Florence is now moving to the northwest at 17 kilometers per hour.

"We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

That's because the weather systems that usually push and pull a storm are disappearing as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC. He also warned residents to be prepared to be without electricity "for a long time" in the storm's aftermath.

It is an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane, ' North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said.

Forecasters say the storm is likely to remain constant in strength, weakening only after the center of the storm moves inland.

Hurricane Florence carries a heavy risk of flash floods as it brings up to 13-foot storm surge and a possible 40 inches of rain to the Carolina coast. North and SC already faced flooding earlier this summer.

Because landfalling hurricanes commonly spawn twisters, a tornado watch was issued for eastern North Carolina. He asked citizens in danger zones to heed warnings because "your time is running out".

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday.

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All eyes are on Hurricane Florence as it barrels toward the Carolinas.

Some people, such as Jennie, are refusing to heed evacuation warnings.

In Wrightsville Beach, located on another North Carolina barrier island, Michelle Stober spent Tuesday stuffing valuables into her auto for the drive inland to her primary residence in the Raleigh suburbs.

Anxious that such dire warnings were bad for business, coastal developers successfully lobbied North Carolina's Republican-controlled legislature to pass a law in 2012 requiring state scientists and regulators to consider the "full range" of other possible hypotheses, including those pushed by climate-change skeptics who claim sea levels might remain flat, or even fall.

"You need to get out now", Hill told those who were staying behind.

In the midst of what's being called a "monster storm", some US residents are welcoming Hurricane Florence with parties.

In South Carolina, Gov. McMaster says at least 300,000 people have already evacuated. Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

"In [regions] where we have known precipitation extremes, we have been able to detect an increase in precipitation extremes due to a warming climate."

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