Hurricane Florence is a "horrific nightmare" for meteorologists tracking the storm

A mandatory evacuation is in effect in preparation of the approaching Hurricane Florence

A mandatory evacuation is in effect in preparation of the approaching Hurricane Florence

"We're seeing on social media, we're seeing comments and calls coming into our hotline that people are saying, 'Oh, it's only a Cat 2.' Well, only a Cat 2 has winds of up to 96 to 110 miles per hour", Derrec Becker, spokesman for the S.C. Emergency Management Division told The State on Thursday. It is an enormous storm, and it's moving slowly.

FEMA officials wrote on Twitter people should not focus on the category of the storm - as of Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence was a Category 2 storm, indicating slower wind speeds - but rather should pay attention to the fact there will be extreme flooding in the Carolinas as a result. The actual landfall - when the center of the eye reaches land - will be Friday afternoon at the earliest, said Neil Jacobs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We can not underestimate this storm".

Despite days of warnings to evacuate, some residents are staying put - even if they don't want to.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com. They also have three dogs and three parrots.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said.

"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income".

"It's all going to be predicated on where the damage is at, in terms of how and where we deploy our resources", said Penn. "But I think it'll be OK".

Duke Energy serves 4 million people in the Carolinas.


"If you're going to leave. you should leave now because time is running out", McMaster said on Thursday.

"It can still kill you".

Those surges alone are projected to cause inland flooding of more than 9 feet in cities like New Bern, North Carolina, even without the expected 15 to 20 inches of rain. "If you're told to go, you need to go".

When a hurricane or some other weather-related disaster strikes, The Weather Channel quickly becomes one of the most-watched stations in an increasingly diversified television marketplace.

Mayor Joe Benson said the storm will batter Carolina Beach through two high-tide periods.

Despite the drop in maximum sustained winds, forecasters stress that this hurricane is not to be taken lightly.

SC officials say more than 400,000 people have evacuated the state's coast and more than 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters as Hurricane Florence approaches. "It's chilling, even from space", said Gerst.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

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.In addition to the hurricane's obvious risks, the National Weather Service says, "A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday".

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