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Threat becomes reality: Florence begins days of rain, wind

16 September 2018

Authorities are warning US coastal residents in the path of Hurricane Florence to evacuate now or be at the mercy of the Category 3 storm, which is expected to slow upon hitting the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and ravage the region with storm surge, rainfall, and flooding.

An intense wave, as well as heavy rains, will announce on Thursday on the coast of Las Carolinas, the arrival of Florence.

The center of 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 in the hurricane warning area on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added.

"There's 25% more people living between Charleston (South Carolina) and Morehead City (North Carolina) than there were when Hugo was making landfall", Myers said.

"When you are looking at a storm surge of this magnitude, where the National Weather Service says that the damage is going to be unbelievable and that they can not emphasize that enough, we know that that is a message that we should listen to", said Cooper.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

A storm surge watch is in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

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Once a powerful Category 4 storm, Florence became a slow-moving Category 1 before it made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina, on Friday.

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.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said.

Homeless after losing her job at Walmart three months ago, 25-year-old Brittany Jones went to a storm shelter at a high school near Raleigh.

"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.

Duke Energy said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

Florence will unload up to 40 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina.

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Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave. It marks the beginning of a prolonged assault from wind and water, which - by the time it's over - is likely to bring devastating damage and flooding to millions of people in the Southeast.

Tropical Storm Florence was downgraded from a unsafe Category 1 storm Friday, but millions have still been affected.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland.

"I came to video it so I can remember what it looked like before the storm because I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here (after Florence)", she said.

"We already bought candles, batteries, can food items, water and so on". "I want to get them as far away as possible".

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Threat becomes reality: Florence begins days of rain, wind