Hurricane Florence hours away from Carolinas

Hurricane Florence NOAA update

Hurricane Florence NOAA update

Hurricane Florence had weakened to a Category 2 storm by Thursday afternoon, when winds and rain began hitting the Carolina coast. If it is bowl-shaped, like in Georgia and SC, the surge is deeper, but when it is the opposite shape, like the Outer Banks, it's less so, Needham said.

He added: 'The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen. "We're going to stay tight and check on everybody", he said.

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land.

The sheer size of the storm meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day, according to weather forecasters. Tornadoes are possible Thursday in eastern North Carolina.

Myrtle Beach was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1".

U.S. television networks said 7pm to 7am curfews had been put in place in several towns surrounding Myrtle Beach. But earlier today The Weather Channel put out a forecast with an unexpectedly dark twist.

There will be hurricane-force winds up to 80 miles from the centre of the storm, meteorologists say.

The administration said that as Florence, a Category 2 storm, is expected to make landfall in the US southeast coast on Friday, the massive storm will obstruct electricity transmission and distribution, while widespread evacuations and disruptions to normal business operations could impact demand patterns for transportation fuels.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Parts of North Carolina could get 40 inches (1 meter) of rain. They also urged anyone who remained near the coast to flee. "Please heed the warnings", Mr Brock said: "Your time is running out".


Long said the danger was not only along the coast. "Inland flooding kills a lot of people".

But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Hurricane Florence continues to drop category, but not risky, while hundreds of thousands of people try to get away from the coasts of the two Carolinas and Virginia.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

Duke Energy said the hurricane could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "The infrastructure is going to break, the power is going to go out". Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but reconsidered due to its ferocity.

That was a bad idea, said Avair Vereen, a local nurse who had sought safety in the shelter with her seven children.

"But I'm not afraid", he said. "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able".

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse. She packed up what she could and took a ferry Tuesday night.

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

"There was a variety of menu options of housing that kept people in their housing, in their communities, in their schools, in their houses of worship, that we had not had before".

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