Now Category 1, Florence batters North Carolina coast

Pablo Tucker
September 14, 2018

The monster storm - which briefly flirted with category five status on its march across the Atlantic - was located roughly 170 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina as of 8:00 a.m. EDT Thursday.

"Life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall, and damaging wind will cover a large area regardless of exactly where the center of Florence moves", Hurricane Center forecasters said.

The storm's effects are predicted to make themselves felt throughout South and North Carolina starting Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Outer Banks are experiencing wind gusts over 30 miles per hour and rain from the outermost bands has begun to fall in coastal areas of both North and SC.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Unit from Huntington are heading towards North Carolina to help with rescue efforts following Hurricane Florence.

Her neighbors gave her the key to their house, which is two stories and might be safer from flooding, she said. Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland.

The American government is ready to deal with the aftermath of the hurricane but people should get out of the way, Trump said.

President Trump spoke with the senators of North Carolina and SC, telling them they have the full support of the federal government and the feds will be there to help with anything their states may need.

With their entire neighbourhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

The Category 2 storm's outer bands lashed towns on the barrier islands and on some of the Tar Heel State's rivers while the center of the cyclone was looking at a possible Friday afternoon landfall.

So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence.

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The company said as many as three-fourths of its 4 million customers in North Carolina and SC could lose power.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

With winds picking up along the coastline early Thursday, federal and state officials had issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system.

"I'm lucky to be here today, but wherever they're going to send me I'm going". "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

Just inland in North Carolina, the hurricane is pushing water up the sounds and rivers, Joel Cline, a tropical storm program coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told Fox News. The storm's forward speed had slowed to 5 miles per hour and forecasters were concerned it might have stalled.

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