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

Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area

"Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland", the National Hurricane Center said.

Florence is lashing the state with "heavy rainbands with tropical-storm-force winds spreading across the Outer Banks and Coastal Southeastern North Carolina", the briefing said. It is expected to stall and hover over the Carolinas, dumping enormous amounts of rainfall on the region, and causing massive destruction and flooding. Weather forecasters also warn that the threat of tornadoes is increasing as the system draws closer to land.

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 140 miles per hour to 105 miles per hour by Thursday, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

This photo shows what it looks like deep inside the eye of Hurricane Florence, a place of relative calm for such storms.

British Airways will allow all customers who are now booked to travel to Antigua, the Dominican Republic, Providenciales, St. Kitts, St. Lucia or the Port of Spain the option to postpone their trips through Monday, September 17, TravelMole reported. 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.

Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

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By the time the storm leaves the region, forecasters expect that it will have dumped 50 to 70 centimeters of rain in coastal areas, with some parts possibly being inundated with up to 100 centimeters.

After the storm makes landfall, it will slow down and begin to crawl to the west and southwest along the coast into SC on Saturday.

The path of Hurricane Florence sees it going over some of the poorest areas on the eastern seaboard. "Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances", the advisory said. He asked citizens in danger zones to heed warnings because "your time is running out".

Vickie Grate, left, waits in a shelter with her son Chris, center, and his girlfriend Sarah, who only gave their first names, for Hurricane Florence to pass after evacuating from their nearby homes, in Conway, South Carolina, Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of people have already evacuated.

"A lot of our storefronts are boarded up", said Lynn Davis, town manager for Belhaven which sits at sea level in northeastern North Carolina. "So just because the rain starts letting up don't assume everything's good and you can go back to your house in some low-lying area, and then be surprised by the river coming up". The agency is also warning people in the evacuation areas to leave stating that "This is not going to be a glancing blow". Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland.

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

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