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In the Triangle: Tornado watches, flood warnings as Florence makes landfall
14 September 2018, 06:29 | Justin Tyler
Hurricane Florence: Outer Banks of North Carolina begin to feel effects of powerful storm
The outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) as the monster storm moved in for an extended stay along the Southeastern coast, promising to drench the properties of 10 million people with huge amounts of water.
By 5 a.m. today, the storm was about 205 miles east/southeast of Wilmington, N.C. with 110-mph maximum sustained winds.
Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 900mm of rain, triggering severe flooding.
Forecast models suggest the heaviest rain will focus near the coast around the SC and North Carolina border.
The monster storm - which briefly flirted with category five status on its march across the Atlantic - was located roughly 170 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina as of 8:00 a.m. EDT Thursday.
There will be hurricane-force winds up to 80 miles from the centre of the storm, meteorologists say.
On the forecast track, the center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.
The result: catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.
In all, an estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.
5 a.m.: The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows little change to Florence's path or strength. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely risky storm for rain and storm surge.
"Get out of its way, don't play games with it", said Mr Trump.
In Awendaw, South Carolina, Chris Johnson said he's staying behind to watch his house while his wife, Michele, is evacuating.
Emergency preparations included activating more than 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia. Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1100 trucks.
Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Ga., crashes into waves from Hurricane Florence, Wednesday, Sept., 12, 2018, on the south beach of Tybee Island, Ga.
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. Cameras may stop working during the storm.
Myrtle Beach International Airport in SC has also suspended commercial operations, and urges passengers to check with their airlines - not the airport - about upcoming itineraries.
"In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again", he said.
More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate over the past few days, and the homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.
A large rain cloud passes over a day before the arrival of hurricane Florence in Wilmington, N.C. on September 12, 2018.
What is the impact from Hurricane Florence on Charlotte?
As Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolina coast, a Wilmington, North Carolina, resident joined "Fox & Friends First" to explain why he has deliberately ignored mandatory evacuation orders. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.
"Were just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said. "I've never seen anything like this". Three other Southern raceways also opened campgrounds to evacuees.
Forecasters say it could slow dramatically when it nears land and then linger until Saturday, moving unpredictably along the coast and bringing torrential rain.
ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up
National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts. However, the surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves, regardless of when the storm arrives.
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