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Hurricane Florence DOWNGRADED to Category 1 as it continues path of DESTRUCTION

14 September 2018

1 storm moved in.

Hurricane Florence will be one of the biggest storms to make landfall along the U.S. eastern seaboard in decades.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally risky to be outside, Graham said.

A National Weather Service forecaster has said it will be the "storm of a lifetime" for parts of the Carolina coast.

The storm's centre was about 180km east of Wilmington, North Carolina, at 2pm local time (18:00 GMT) but tropical storm-strength winds and heavy rains already were hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands. Residents should expect to see higher tides than usual on the James and York rivers, as well as possible flooding and beach erosion.

The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Wednesday night, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday, NHC said.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated, " he said.

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Forecasters say Florence will likely turn to the west-northwest and slow down its forward motion - a situation that will bring even more rainfall to the area. The storm surge could rise up to 13 feet - that's water inundating homes up to the first-floor ceiling, the National Hurricane Center said.

And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people.

"We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.

"It is scary. When somebody tells you something like that, it's my cue to get out".

Ken Graham, NHC director, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as two miles.

It is set to make landfall midday today near Cape Fear, North Carolina, bringing up to 40 inches of rain, and storm surges as high as 13ft.

That amount of storm surge would put Florence on par with Hurricane Fran.

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New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School. People in the Carolinas had the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director. A lot of people hearing this are remembering Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

The storm has slowed down and is forecast to travel across SC after it makes landfall.

To the east of that system is Tropical Storm Helene, which is blowing stronger with maximum winds at approximately 100 km/h.

"Our sand dunes are healthy, but they're not going to be able to keep back a wall of water like that", he said.

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Hurricane Florence DOWNGRADED to Category 1 as it continues path of DESTRUCTION