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

Annette Crawford
September 13, 2018

A graphic of Hurricane Florence's path, generated today (Sept. 12) at 2 p.m. ET by the National Hurricane Center, shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow).

Florence's predicted pause and slow southward turn off North Carolina on Friday means some coastal areas will get damaging hurricane-force winds for more than 24 hours.

"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective", University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said.

Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

"Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in".

In addition to inundating the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (4 meters) along the Carolina coast, Florence could dump 20 to 30 inches (51-76 cm) of rain, with up to 40 inches in parts of North Carolina, the NHC said.

If some of the computer projections hold, "it's going to come roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say, 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland, '" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground forecasting service.

North Carolina farms are moving livestock to safety.


A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes. In South Carolina, close to the Georgia line, Beaufort County emergency chief Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case.

Hurricane Florence was on course Wednesday to deliver a devastating blow to the east coast of the United States, with millions urged to flee inland hours before it was due to announce its arrival with torrential downpours. Although North Carolina is still expected to see the worst of the storm, a more southern track would mean that states further north - like Virginia - could be spared of some nasty weather.

Almost 3,000 National Guard troops have been put on alert in North Carolina.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help deal with what could be weeks of power outages in the aftermath, the company said.

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

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington. "It's going to happen".

New Hanover County Officials have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people over four days.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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