Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

"Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland", the briefing said.

In recent years, predictions about a storm's trajectory, which arises from the weather's natural variability, have improved due to better understanding of the atmosphere and its rivers of air.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence had maximum sustained winds of about 175 kilometers per hour (108 mph) early Thursday, and that it would maintain about that level until the center of the storm makes landfall.

The threat of storm surges loom for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible in the next 36 hours.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the USA southeast.

Some bars pride themselves on staying open no matter how strong the winds and rains outside, but Florence - expected to be the most powerful hurricane in decades - is proving just too risky.

Florence is also expected to lose speed and "hover" once it reaches the coast, which will intensify the impacts of its heavy rainfall and storm surges, Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), said in a Facebook Live update earlier today.

President Donald Trump both touted the governments readiness and urged people to get out of the way.

"Don't play games with it".

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear-skies high-pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI.

As of 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, the storm was centred 455 kilometres east-southeast of Wilmington, N.C., moving northwest at 28 km/h.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", he said at a news conference.

Cooper and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told more than 1 million people who were directed to leave that if they don't evacuate, no one will come to save them. Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1100 trucks.

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The power companies expect millions of people to be without power for days. "We're going to be there to help", Cooper said.

He added: "This is a very risky storm".

Florence is becoming more of a threat to more people - now including some in Georgia - in more ways.

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Ga., crashes into waves from Hurricane Florence, Wednesday, Sept., 12, 2018, on the south beach of Tybee Island, Ga.

Here is a list of cams from beaches and piers along the coast, and one in Charlotte. You're going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas.

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

"So to kill the boredom, we can end up on the rooftop "playing reporters" battling elements with fake microphones", she said.

Brunswick County also opened its own shelters at three high schools on Tuesday. Surges as high as 9-to-13 feet are now forecast from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout.

Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the United States, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.

Florence is forecasted to to meander southward through SC after landfall, then it will eventually get caught in the upper level flow and move out of the region.

Aaron Yates, like many others, said he would party at home as Florence batters the shoreline.

"If you are under an evacuation order and you haven't left, the time to leave is now".

More than 10 million people are under watches and warnings, the Associated Press reported.

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