Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

13 September, 2018, 16:27 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Satellite images show Hurricane Florence as it nears U.S. coast

Early Wednesday afternoon in North Carolina, the storm was centered 700 kilometers (435 miles) off the coast, moving at 26 kph (16 mph) towards the United States coastline. At 5, we'll get more information on the path and strength of Florence. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

The Category 4 storm is the most powerful hurricane to threaten the Carolinas in 3 decades. "Does this mean we have much less to worry about?"

"The larger and slower the storm is, the greater the threat and impact, and we have that here", NHC Director Ken Graham said on Thursday.

A National Weather Service forecaster has said it will be the "storm of a lifetime" for parts of the Carolina coast.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.

The National Hurricane Center is still predicting a storm surge of 9 to 13 feel along the coast and in the Pamlico Sound and area rivers.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Florence's maximum sustained winds had eased slightly to 115 miles per hour (185 kph) and it had been downgraded to a Category 3 storm from a Category 4 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

"The farther north and west you are, the less risk you have", WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Large and risky, Hurricane Florence is drawing closer to the coast of the Carolinas, where it threatens to become the most intense storm to strike the region in at least 25 years, since Hugo.

The storm is 385 miles southeast of Raleigh and is moving northwest at 17 mph. Tropical storm-force winds are predicted to arrive by late Thursday morning or early afternoon.

There are concerns that it could knock out power for weeks.

"The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen", he warned residents.

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The videos reiterate how powerful and risky these storms can be.

"I'm very concerned about this storm", Cooper said.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", he said.

In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state. Below, you can see a time-lapse of the moment it entered the eye of the Category 4 hurricane.

Florence could do more than $170bn (£130bn) of damage and affect almost 759,000 homes and businesses, says analytics firm CoreLogic.

"They told me to bring a pillow and blanket", Whisler said.

"We're ready", Cooper said.

Hurricane Florence has developed into a major storm over extremely warm water, Ginis said.

Residents in coastal areas should follow evacuation orders from local officials because of the potential for life-threatening storm surge flooding.

The prison, home to nearly 1,000 prisoners and up to 119 staff, was ordered to stay put even during an initial mandatory evacuation for surrounding Jasper County.

In addition, the Georgia Hospital Association has created a webpage, www.gha.org/HurricaneCentral, that Georgia Emergency Management will keep updated with evacuee information to include Georgia Parks space that is available at no cost to evacuees.

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