Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds

Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds

The category 4 storm carrying maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h would probably strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

As of 200am, the eye of the storm was 375 km southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 17 miles per hour.

Fears about Hurricane Florence spread south on Wednesday, with Georgia declaring a state of emergency after officials in the Carolinas urged people to evacuate the coast ahead of the storm's expected pounding winds and rain-driven floods.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and pig-manure ponds.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than 1 million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

Global space station NASA has revealed the extent of the hurricane "Florence", which is close to the coast of the United States.

He cautioned residents to closely monitor Hurricane Florence. The only exception was Edisto Beach - that and other areas to the north remain under evacuation orders.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

Mother and infant are first Hurricane Florence fatalities
The outer bands of Hurricane Florence began battering the coast of North and South Carolina Thursday with strong winds and rain. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks.

Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear reactors in the three-state region.

After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that would see the system likely lingering for days.

People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

The storm surge, or wind-driven seawater, poses a huge danger, FEMA Administrator Brock Long warned on ABC's "Good Morning America".

Its surge of ocean water could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 13 feet, and days of downpours could unload more than three feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

On Wednesday morning, Florence was extending hurricane-force winds outward up to 70 miles from its center, with tropical-storm-force winds up to 175 miles outward.

"Where else can we go?" she said.

President Trump says the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders are poised to help - but he also warned people to get out of the storm's path.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

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