Five Killed as Florence Hammers the Carolinas

Five Killed as Florence Hammers the Carolinas

Super Typhoon Mangkhut tore through the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday packing winds of more than 200 km per hour (124 mph) along with torrential rain, killing three people and causing floods, landslides and power outages.

"The larger and slower the storm is, the greater the threat and impact, and we have that here", NHC Director Ken Graham said on Thursday.

There also could be significant beach erosion in some area, the weather service said. "A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or risky".

Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday at 100 miles per hour (170 km per hour) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 mph (224 kph) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm. "I'm going to Charlotte".

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

McMaster urged people in areas under Tuesday's mandatory evacuation order to leave now if they haven't already done so.

Hurricane expert Dr Rick Knabb warns: "Yes good news that intensity of Florence has come down, to lessen wind damage somewhat". He compares Hurricane Florence with Hurricane Isabel, which hit the Virginia and North Carolina area at a similar strength in 2003, leaving about a million people without power and Hatteras Island battered.

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It is expected to bring massive amounts of rain, devastating flooding gale-force winds that could knock out power for weeks.

An American Red Cross aid worker walks through the cafeteria at Conway High School which is being used as a Hurricane Florence evacuation shelter at Conway High School on September 13, 2018 in Conway, South Carolina.

That's because the weather systems that usually push and pull a storm are disappearing as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC. "Total innundation" is expected in eastern and southeastern North Carolina, as well as northern Southern California, and the storm surge could reach in "excess of 3.05m in some areas", Accuweather added.

"A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion Friday night and Saturday", the NHC said.

"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.

The Miami-based center says the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later today.

Helene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Thursday. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The storm was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour. Tropical Storm Olivia made a double landfall in Hawaii Wednesday morning, first in west Maui then Lanai, KHNL reports.

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