More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Mindy Sparks
September 14, 2018

"Don't plan to leave once the winds and rains start".

Storm surge is higher in the right-front quadrant of a storm because the system's counterclockwise motion pushes more water inland, Masters said.

"The storm surge forecast with this storm has not changed", warned Brock Long, the head of FEMA.

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

Hurricane Florence had weakened to a Category 2 storm by Thursday afternoon, when winds and rain began hitting the Carolina coast.

The National Hurricane Center's projected track has Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast from Thursday night until landfall on Saturday morning. Tornadoes are possible Thursday in eastern North Carolina. "So instead of maybe 120 mph winds for 30 minutes, you might end up with 90-100 mph winds for a couple of hours, or three or four hours".

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland. But the effect on major air travel hubs in the Southeast is expected to be less than feared. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. The storm was moving northwest at 10 miles per hour.

As Florence closed in, some residents weighed whether to ride it out.

"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said.

"We're a good community up there".

WeatherBELL's Joe Bastardi told CBN News: "There's no backing down on the magnitude of this storm in relation to where it's going to hit".

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School.

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

"Think of it like a marathon", said Mark Robinson, from The Weather Network, also in Wilmington with Kourounis.

In Columbia, South Carolina, Barry Sparks, a 66-year-old retiree, was thinking of getting out after the path of the storm shifted somewhat to the south.

The contraflow will end Thursday at noon on 501 and at 6 p.m. on I-26.

"This is a very risky storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground. The governor added that a million or more people could be evacuated before the end of the storm.

A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington amid concern over potential torrential rain and flooding. "If God's coming for you, you can't run from him".

Also spinning in the Atlantic are Tropical Storms Helene and Isaac and Subtropical Storm Joyce, while Tropical Depression Olivia and Super Typhoon Mangkhut are making waves in the Pacific. Roads from the Outer Banks have been closed and ferries have stopped running as storm surge cuts across the islands, carving new inlets, stirring sea foam, and clawing at the foundations and stilts lifting homes above the normally tranquil beach.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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