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Hurricane Florence from space: photos of the hurricane showed in the NASA
15 September 2018, 07:59 | Erica Roy
"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.
A hurricane warning for the coast from Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, to the South Santee River, South Carolina.
The storm was expected to become a tropical depression on Saturday and significant weakening was expected over the weekend, the NHC said in a bulletin.
Evacuation orders for low-lying areas were issued Monday and continued Tuesday.
Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, risky surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.
The Charleston International Airport will close Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. until further notice, reports George Kearns of South Carolina Public Radio. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., and nearby areas, the surge could hit 6-9 feet.
The landfall location is expected to be between Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina.
Satellite images show Florence has maintained a distinct eye and is well-organized.
"Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km)".
Predictions now have the storm stalling and making a slight southward turn after it makes landfall. "So Florence is kind of spreading out, becoming a much larger, more stable hurricane".
Thirty-six hours before catastrophic Hurricane Florence was predicted to make landfall, Virginia Beach residents and visitors awoke to blue skies and calm conditions. The hurricane center also adjusted its projected track but stayed north of what most computer models were showing to prove some continuity with past forecasts.
The intensity of the wind and rain we'll see here is dependent on the exact track of the storm.
"An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft that was in the hurricane until just after midnight" recorded a peak wind gust of around 150 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center.
"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said. The Triad has around a 50% chance of having sustained Tropical Storm force winds.
An additional 25 percent of deaths are related to rain, he said.
"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington.
"We are already experiencing heavily impacted traffic on some of the evacuation routes", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "You can't argue with mother nature".
Hurricane Florence Hits Near Wrightsville Beach
In Wilmington, near where the eye of the hurricane touched down, trees and power lines were down and many windows had been broken. That deluge will lead to " catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged, significant river flooding", according to the NHC.
Hurricane Florence storm downgraded but still "very dangerous"
Already hundreds of people have been evacuated from the area, while others are warned to take cover and prepare for the worst. It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.