Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC

Emergency officials on Wednesday urged millions of residents along the southeastern USA coast to finish preparations ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to unleash damaging winds and life-threatening amounts of rain when it makes landfall this week. "We're able", Trump said Wednesday outside the White House.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13ft were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.

The storm is moving toward the northwest at 17 miles per hour (28 kph), the NHC said. It could linger along the Atlantic Coast, dumping massive amounts of rain before drifting inland and bringing its heavy rainfall across the South and into the Mid-Atlantic states by early next week.

"The state is mobilising all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.

In addition, preparing for hurricane-force winds is different than for storm surge, he said. Forecasters said Florence is expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, even as President Donald Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina
Florence's fiercest winds will linger around the coast for hours since the storm was moving forward at only 6 mph (9 km/h). Footage posted on social media showed a meteorologist saying on air that they had to evacuate.

Storm surge flooding does not include floods caused by the heavy rain from the hurricane, such as what happened past year in Houston with Hurricane Harvey and in North Carolina in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles. "There's nobody left to work".

"What can you do?" she asked.

"Everything is packed", Espinoza said. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

At least 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been warned to evacuate, and others are hunkering down.

Petty Officer 1st Class Mike McHuge from the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team checks the outboard engine of one of the Shallow Water Urban Search and Rescue boats staged in Augusta, Georgia, Sept. 13, 2018 in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

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