Hurricane Florence begins battering the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence hours away from Carolinas

Hurricane Florence hours away from Carolinas

It is an enormous storm, and it's moving slowly.

After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said. Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland.

Water from Neuse River floods houses as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, September 13, 2018.

By the time the storm leaves the region, forecasters expect that it will have dumped 50 to 70 centimeters of rain in coastal areas, with some parts possibly being inundated with up to 100 centimeters. Further inland, rain totals could reach 30 centimeters in the Carolinas, and up to 24 centimeters in the rest of the Carolinas and in southwestern Virginia.

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. As Florence churned slowly towards the coasts of North and SC as a Category 2 hurricane, federal and state officials issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing North Carolina would see the equivalent of up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period.

By the time it leaves, it's expected to have unloaded 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said.

"Your time is running out", he warned.

Florence is projecting hurricane-force winds outward up to 80 miles from its center; tropical-storm-force winds are swirling outward up to 195 miles away.


Wild horses in the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, North Carolina will fend for themselves during Hurricane Florence.

Some people, such as Jennie, are refusing to heed evacuation warnings. "Leaving is such a problem with the traffic going out", Jennie told VOA Thursday afternoon as she strolled along the shore of Carolina Beach near Wilmington, North Carolina.

"Just because you're not on the coast doesn't mean you won't get some big impact", Graham said.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts that it could be centered over southwestern Pennsylvania by early Tuesday morning, potentially bringing more rain to Maryland and another surge of floodwaters down an already swollen Susquehanna River.

Residents of the Carolinas and neighboring states should consult local authorities for any evacuation orders and other preparation guidelines. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia declared emergencies to help speed up government aid efforts.

Baltimore County officials said Thursday that they placed emergency personnel on "high alert" should there be flooding and outages, and urged residents to make preparations just in case.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said.

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