Hurricane Florence begins to batter USA east coast

Angelo Anderson
September 14, 2018

"That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning. "Today the threat becomes a reality".

Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 900mm of rain, triggering severe flooding.

"Just because the wind speeds came down and the intensity of this storm came down to a Category 2, please do not let your guard down", Brock Long, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, told reporters Thursday in Washington.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. "We have to keep watching".

Just as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Southeast, the area covered by hurricane-force winds has doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds 74 miles per hour or greater.

Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems now in the Atlantic. The prospect of even more rain across Pennsylvania anxious Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome Sr. on Thursday. "We're watching how it tracks when it comes inland".

Even if you know nothing about hurricanes, an unavoidable sense of doom and destruction overtakes you when you look at this image of Hurricane Florence as it moves inexorably toward North and SC.

Further south, just north of South America, is where you'll find Tropical Storm Isaac, a system packing maximum winds of around 65 km/h.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House.

The utility crews will need to hunker down until the storm passes.

Horton pleaded for volunteers to take in their animals for the duration of the storm, a common, plaintive refrain at other shelters across the area.

With more than 1,500 commercial airline flights in and out of the Carolinas canceled - and potentially many more to come - even the skies above sat empty, except for Florence's foreboding cloud cover and rapidly strengthening rain.

Not everyone in the low-lying coastal areas in Florence's path have heeded warnings to evacuate. "We're able", he said. "Highly saturated grounds and heavy rainfall or high winds could cause significant damage". Fourteen of the dam's spill gates were opened Wednesday until the river crested Wednesday night, but several remained open through Thursday.

Thousands more have been ordered to prepare to deploy if needed. By leaving his executive order declaring a statewide emergency in place, the state will be ready, if necessary, Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said.

He said the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of the state-activated National Guard troops. That is now the case in the Carolinas - the state sent Maryland Task Force One, an urban search-and-rescue team based in Rockville, to SC on Wednesday.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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