Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Hurricane Florence seen maintaining strength as it approaches coast: NHC

Hurricane Florence seen maintaining strength as it approaches coast: NHC

The big slosh has begun, and the consequences could be disastrous.

Forecasters said the Category 1 storm's extreme size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day. Tens of thousands were without power.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

The hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 storm, as it approached North and SC, but officials warned it could still kill "a lot of people" amid the risk of "catastrophic" flooding.

Rivers are rising on the north side of Hurricane Florence as the storm swirls counter-clockwise, pushing a surge of ocean water far in from the coast.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition. "Today the threat becomes a reality".

More news: Surge, wind, rain, floods: Hurricane Florence could hit hard

The storm surge from Hurricane Florence is potentially life-threatening, as water is beginning to pick up along some of the roadways.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire. Deadly storm surges, flooding and inland rainfall are expected to cause significant damage as well.

"Even a small prediction error could have major impacts", he said. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path. "Trees are blowing down in the wind". Some of the few people still left in Nags Head on the Outer Banks took photos of angry waves topped with white froth.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding. "Because it's Mother Nature".

The weather service later measured a storm surge 10 feet deep in the city, which lies on the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast.

"These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said.

"It doesn't matter how much money you have or how many generators you have if you can't get gas", she said. "A storm can come and wipe your house out overnight".

More news: Most of OH under flood watches as remnants of Gordon move in

Duke Energy Corp. expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", Parker said.

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

Before sunrise, high winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

After appearing headed toward the North Carolina-Virginia border at one point, Florence shifted south and is now taking aim at the Carolinas.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74.

More news: High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence

"We have prepared everything", he says, "to have enough food, water, batteries, radio, first-aid supplies, and everything we need to be safe". "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place".

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