Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Hurricane Florence to deliver 'life-threatening' surges and rain despite downgrade

Hurricane Florence to deliver 'life-threatening' surges and rain despite downgrade

It could stall just off the coast and then drift south along the SC coast and possibly make a landfall as a weaker system if it doesn't make it clearly over the coast of North Carolina.

A hurricane hunter with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew into the category three Hurricane Florence and reported back Wednesday what he was seeing. "As we continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Florence and make preparations, Floridians must remain vigilant".

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations. The storm will bring dangerously high amounts of rain, forecasters say.

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

The centre of Florence, no longer classified as a major hurricane but still posing a grave threat to life and property, is expected to strike North Carolina's southern coast tomorrow, then drift southwest along the shoreline before moving inland on Saturday, the NHC said. And there will be flooding in the inland areas as well.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper warned.

"We could maybe get some outer bands or very, very outer bands of the hurricane", said Jeremy Geiger, a weather service meteorologist.

The White House has approved requests from North Carolina and SC for federal emergency declarations, allowing for greater coordination among states and federal agencies.

As residents of the region prepared by stocking up on essentials, officials called on them to evacuate to higher ground.

Hurricane-force winds will reach the Carolina coasts late Thursday or early Friday.

Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where Florence appeared headed for shore, grew empty and quiet on Wednesday. I believe that was a Category 1 storm when it hit Charlotte. "It's going to happen".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps. "Heed those warnings and evacuate if you're in one of the zones". "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together".

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