Florence downgraded to Cat. 2; still potentially deadly storm

Florence downgraded to Cat. 2; still potentially deadly storm

Florence downgraded to Cat. 2; still potentially deadly storm

This Nasa handout photo shows a view from the International Space Station of Hurricane Florence off the USA east coast in the Atantic Ocean on 10 September 2018.

Florence is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast late this week and turn slowly left - a development that would smash the Tar Heel State with life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and inundating rain while also endangering a large portion of SC.

"Also, most storms coming into the Carolinas tend to move northward, and this storm looks like it's going to stall over the region and potentially bring tremendous, life-threatening flooding".

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

"We could get some rain and gusty winds".

"Models becoming more and more confident on where the storm is going to make landfall".

What's more certain is beach erosion and risky surf conditions.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

Some 7,000 guard members are ready to mobilize in North Carolina, while 1,100 will be activated in SC.

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"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989.

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.

"This one really scares me", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.

So far during in 2018 Atlantic hurricane season there have been nine tropical storms, of which five - Beryl, Chris, Helen, Isaac and Florence - have become hurricanes. Storm surge of 13 feet on top of a high tide at 7 feet could overwhelm Carolina Beach. About 1.7 million residents have been urged to flee from parts of North and SC.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City concluded early Wednesday that "there is some increased confidence for a wetter and windier period".

As Graham says, "just because you have a landfall to your south doesn't mean you're out of the woods, because the winds are huge around this system". People getting a little more than moist over it'.

While many people focus on the wind speed of storms, the danger often comes from the water flowing in from the ocean. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland.

"Warming oceans, a more rapidly warming arctic, melting ice sheets are all contributing in various way to conditions like what we're observing now", Francis said.

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