Tracking Hurricane Florence as it bears down on U.S. East Coast

13 September, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • NASA shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean seen from the International Space Station, in space on Sept. 10 2018

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that "disaster is at the doorstep", and "tens of thousands" of buildings may be flooded. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime".

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.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland.

Florence was expected to come ashore as a Category 4 hurricane around 8 a.m. Friday with 140 miles per hour winds.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Florence was 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C., moving west-northwest at 17 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.

President Trump is receiving regular updates on the situation.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. The power is going to be off for weeks.

Marshall: You mentioned some hefty winds here in the Charlotte area.

Byard, the FEMA official, said "this storm is not going to be a glancing blow".

The forecasters also expect that there will be a 90 percent chance of tropical storm force winds for parts of the storm.

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It could stall just off the coast and then drift south along the SC coast and possibly make a landfall as a weaker system if it doesn't make it clearly over the coast of North Carolina.

The storm is expected to bring tropical storm-force winds, life-threatening storm surges of seawater and 35 inches (89 cm) of rain to parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, where intense inland flooding was expected, the center said. Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to take back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina. "Everyone was sold out", she said.

Still, the potential for coastal flooding remains a concern, they said. I believe in preparation, ' Wright said.

At least 25 million residents are at risk from the storm and experts predict its current path could cause up to $170 billion worth of damage, hit up to 759,000 homes and businesses and become the costliest to ever hit the U.S.

Walking his dog along empty streets, Belli said he's well stocked with food and water. In South Carolina, Beaufort County Emergency Management Division Commander Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case. Schools in 26 of the state's 46 counties were ordered closed from Tuesday.

Almost 1000 prisoners in SC will not be moved from their cells, despite a mandatory evacuation order in the area. And he had advice for coastal residents.

"It's likely we'll get significant flooding and high winds", he said.

Florence could be only the second Category 4 storm to pummel the Carolinas since 1800, when record-keeping began.

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