Florence downgraded to Cat. 2; still potentially deadly storm

Kerry GarnerSep 14, 2018

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from Hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd and Matthew", it said.

Wind speeds of risky Hurricane Florence decreased slightly Wednesday afternoon to 120 miles per hour according to the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Florence is packing sustained winds of 140 miles (220 km) per hour and remains an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm as it approaches the United States eastern coastline, specifically the Carolinas.

A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington amid concern over potential torrential rain and flooding.

Parts the eastern seaboard of the United States will be deluged with 40 inches of rain and suffer a "Mike Tyson punch" from Hurricane Florence, emergency planners warned today. "Of course, we're keeping an eye on the forecast.so if something changes and we need to go, we'll get out at [the] last minute if we have to".

"This storm is going to get stronger before it makes landfall", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

More than 1.5 million people living on the US East Coast have been ordered to leave their homes as Hurricane Florence heads towards them.

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.

For a swath of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said.

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The National Hurricane Center says the waves were measured by satellite.

With the storm churning across the Atlantic with 140 miles per hour winds, hurricane watches and warnings include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast.

Storm surge is basically a wall of water that could swallow parts of the coast.

"They have misconceptions about how severely they could be affected by a certain type of storm because they haven't experienced the worst of that type of storm", Baker said.

Trojniar said she and her husband were packing up belongings and plan to stack sandbags around their single-floor home in Wilmington's eerily named Landfall neighborhood near the ocean before checking into a hotel to ride out the storm, with plenty of wine.

More tips on hurricane preparation can be found at the National Weather Service's website.

While a third added: 'Looks like a hard pounding... they are really going more than a few inches.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you", Gerst writes.

"We've already been flooded three times, but it should be a completely different story this time around", he said.

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