Science

Florence weakens to Category 1, but days of rain and wind underway

Florence weakens to Category 1, but days of rain and wind underway

"We've got a lot of resources, but we don't want to put them out there where they could be injured or maybe worse", Sprayberry said ahead of the storm.

The US east coast girded for a battering from Hurricane Florence late Thursday as the monster storm's outer edge began lashing the Carolinas with heavy wind and rain, which forecasters warned could trigger life-threatening floods even as it further weakened.

Definitely the storm surge, which could be up to 11 feet in some locations.

More than 10 feet of storm surge is expected to hit some areas in North Carolina and SC, triggered by Florence.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year.

After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

"With the extreme storm surge along the coast, rivers will start to overflow".

With no steering currents in the atmosphere to keep the storm moving, Florence will slow down as it approaches land.

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered.

Across the Carolinas at least 188,000 people were without power early on Friday.

Many thousand more power customers were without electricity in northeastern South Carolina Friday night.

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Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

Officials have warned the storm has the potential to kill "a lot of people" amid risks of "catastrophic" flooding.

The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia could see 5 to 10 inches, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches. And while the intensity of Florence's winds - still in the 90 miles per hour range - have diminished enough to turn it into a Category 1, the storm has grown in size as it crawls off the coast at a plodding 6 miles per hour.

"It's not the middle of a hurricane yet, so why not come for a beer?" said Waters, 54. He asked citizens in danger zones to heed warnings because "your time is running out". Hurricane-force winds are expected to spread to parts of the coast Friday.

Gusts and rain from spiral bands from the distant hurricane began to lash eastern North Carolina on Thursday morning. "And I can not stress enough the importance of adhering to the governor's orders for mandatory evacuation". "Leaving is such a problem with the traffic going out", Jennie told VOA Thursday afternoon as she strolled along the shore of Carolina Beach near Wilmington, North Carolina.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

Her friend Kate is refusing to evacuate as well because of "the idea of having to leave with my two cats and go somewhere for a week or more".

"It looks heavy outside", she said.

Authorities said more than 60 people, including many children and pets, had to be evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse.

At least 12,000 people have filled 126 shelters across the state. A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia - as well as the U.S. capital Washington. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

"We'll handle it. We're ready". "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was", he said.


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