Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Answers to the 5 most asked questions about Hurricane Florence

Answers to the 5 most asked questions about Hurricane Florence

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day - will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours.

Where is Hurricane Florence now?

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

Watching the scene unfold from space, German Alexander Gerst, an astronaut on board the ISS, tweeted photos of the enormous storm.

Hurricane Florence continues to barrel toward the coast of the Carolinas as a powerful Category 2 hurricane. That's down from a high of 140mph, but still expected to cause "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

The worst-case scenario would be if Florence comes ashore at Wilmington, N.C., and moves north through the three state's biggest cities: Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, David Fountain, Duke Energy's president for North Carolina, said Wednesday. "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able".

The Hurricane Center forecasts that Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday.

But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Elgin Fire Chief Dave Schmidt said members would go only if requested with no self-dispatch allowed.

'This storm is a monster' - 1.7 million flee from Florence
An extremely powerful hurricane is forecast to make landfall in the southern part of the United States later this week. People walk past storm shuttered buildings on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk in Myrtle Beach.

While the storm has since weakened, a storm surge of more than 12-feet and almost 30-inches of rain is still expected.

The hurricane is now centered about 220 miles (354km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and 170 miles to the south-east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said. Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states.

More than a thousand flights have been canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence's arrival in the Carolinas, and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended as the region braces for impact.

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.

"What can you do?" she asked. "Because it's Mother Nature".

"Everything is packed", Espinoza said. "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place".

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

Serious flooding was also reported in SC, and several coastal communities were placed under nighttime curfews during the storm. In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate. After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.

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