Hurricane Florence: What storm surge could look like on East Coast

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption People have left homes and taken precautions ahead of the hurricane

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption People have left homes and taken precautions ahead of the hurricane

The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 13, 2018.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and the likelihood of it lingering around the coast for days - would bring seawater surging on to land and torrential downpours.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warn that Florence remains deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane. President Donald Trump said there was nothing to fear because his administration did such good work responding to last year's storms - including Hurricane Maria, which led to the deaths of 2,975 people in Puerto Rico in the six months after the storm, according to an estimate by George Washington University. The storm's overall movement has slowed to 10 miles per hour.

It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 350-mile-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.

AccuWeather meteorologist Marshall Moss said Florence's track is unique.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon. This is a powerful storm that can kill.


Hurricanes and typhoons not only bring severe coastal flooding via storm surge-they create awful inland flooding as well.

Brenda Bethune told NBC's "Today" show Thursday morning that public safety crews have been checking to make sure businesses are secure, and looking for anything that could become a projectile as the winds come ashore. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers). Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath. Bad idea, she says because emergency crews won't be able to reach them in the storm.

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation? The New York Times reported that Duke Energy, the Carolinas' major power supplier, said as many as 3 million people could lose power.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's approach said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave.

"I was down at the Outer Banks over the weekend with my family", he said. The shopping list for people who have made a decision to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland. "I'm going to Charlotte". "I've got four cats inside the house".

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