Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4

Pablo Tucker
September 13, 2018

"Don't bet your life on riding out a monster". "Don't plan to leave once the winds and rains start".

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Florence weakened to a Category 3 storm. They also instituted a 24-hour curfew. They say their house is about 20 feet above sea level.

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Tim Terman said family members have been pressuring him and his wife to evacuate their home in Bald Head Island, North Carolina, but they are staying put - for now. "Flooding is nearly guaranteed".

Hurricane Florence is now a massive Category 4 hurricane. All seven of North Carolina's ferry routes were shut down.

"It's possible it could be even higher than that depending on how quickly the storm moves to the coast, but we're kind of expecting it to slow down as it moves to the coast and would probably cut down the storm surge", AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski says. "If this blows at 120 mph for four hours, ... you lose a shingle every two minutes, and all of the sudden, you've lost your whole roof after four hours", Myers said.

"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.

It is expected to make landfall in the area later this week.


South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced Monday that mandatory evacuations would begin at noon Tuesday for more than 1 million people on the South Carolina coast.

The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet of water in spots, projections showed.

Beyond the Carolinas and Virginia, which were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, rain and flooding were expected through next week in certain parts of Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

At 5 a.m., the storm was centered 575 miles (925 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph (28 kph).

As Florence closed in, some residents weighed whether to ride it out.

"You literally can not put 6.5 million people on the road", Turner said. "The wind literally piles up the ocean water and pushes it on the land".

"We're a good community up there".

"We haven't see a storm like this since the 1950s", said the construction worker, drill in hand. She packed up what she could and took a ferry Tuesday night.

But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will stay at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program. North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said crops such as tobacco and corn are in midharvest while sweet potatoes, peanuts, soybeans and cotton are still in the field. On Wednesday, forecasters said it had shifted slightly south, and would rake the shoreline from Georgetown, South Carolina, to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings. But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size. Florence is now heading for ocean water with surface temperatures of around 85 degrees, meaning it will likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.

Other reports by iNewsToday