Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

'Monster' Hurricane Florence aims to drench Carolinas | KYW

'Monster' Hurricane Florence aims to drench Carolinas | KYW

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast, bringing days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC, where some areas could see as much as 40 inches (1m) of rain, to Virginia.

The hurricane center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast starting Thursday night before finally blowing ashore.

Florence is rated a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Analytics firm CoreLogic predicts that the damage from Florence could be more than $170 billion - making it the most expensive hurricane to hit the continental U.S.

"While some weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane when it nears the USA coast on Friday", the NHC said in an 11 a.m.

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Tropical storm-force winds extended 175 miles (280 kilometers) from Florence's center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles (110 kilometers). Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

The storm surge, or wind-driven seawater, poses a huge danger, FEMA Administrator Brock Long warned on ABC's "Good Morning America". But that has not affected the response to Florence, Byard told a news conference. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., and nearby areas, the surge could hit 6-9 feet. "We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan)". GEMA/HS continues to lead our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to provide public shelter and accommodate those evacuating from other states. "Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different". "It's going to happen". "If we try to leave, we'll just get stuck in the rain".

"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a Category 4 hurricane?" Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

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