Wind, flooded roads herald approach of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina

Wind, flooded roads herald approach of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina

Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm overnight on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but it is still packing hurricane-force winds of 165 kilometres per hour (105 miles per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

However, the Centre adds warns Hurricane Florence could still produce "a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions over portions of eastern North Carolina.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said.

As Florence reaches landfall, storm surges are the biggest concern, with 49% of United States hurricane deaths attributed to surges.

And don't be fooled by the fact that Florence has weakened slightly to a strong Category 2 hurricane.

Still, the storm has the capacity for huge destruction.

More than 420,000 people had evacuated their homes by Thursday afternoon, McMaster said. "Many that will accept them only allow one per room". Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

"I like helping people, and I've had people help me so this is my way of giving back", she said.

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence on September 12, 2018.

For people who stayed behind near the coast, or find themselves facing the brunt of the storm, officials are offering safety advice.

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And according to meteorologists, the rainfall in parts of North Carolina could exceed three feet with Florence.

Luettich and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and University of Texas spent 30 years developing ADCRIC, a computer model that gauges storm surge and other impacts of major coastal weather events. "That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning.

Winds and waves began battering the Carolinas on Thursday as officials warned that Hurricane Florence - while weakening slightly - remains a "very unsafe storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the US East Coast.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

More than 10 million people are under watches and warnings, the Associated Press reported. Most of the damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in North Carolina came from inland flooding - 31 people died and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed.

Sea water was already surging ashore along the Outer Banks, washing over roads. Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland.

Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios, medications, water and food on hand, Hayes said. "This is low tide, and it looks like high tide", she said. They've also been praying, singing songs in their native language.

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said.

Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm.

South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft). From east to west, the community is less than a dozen blocks deep, with the Atlantic on one side and the Cape Fear River on the other.

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