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Hurricane Florence: Storm downgraded but threat remains

Hurricane Florence: Storm downgraded but threat remains

After a week of hype and hoopla, Hurricane Florence is finally here.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

The Carolina coasts can expect winds topping 80 miles per hour late Thursday afternoon.

Florence is already making its presence felt along the coast of North Carolina.

At 7 a.m., Florence was centered just 5 miles (10 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Rain bands with tropical-storm-force winds have moved onshore over the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

You may have heard about Hurricane Florence, the storm careering towards the U.S. east coast prompting warnings of an impending disaster.

The hurricane centre's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon (Saturday NZT) around the North Carolina-South Carolina line. Coastal storm surge is expected to be as high as 13 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The result: catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said on Thursday.

Hurricane Florence is predicted to creep across the coast from North Carolina to SC after making landfall late Thursday or early Friday.

"Get out of its way, don't play games with it", said Mr Trump. "It's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen, and tremendous amounts of water".

Emergency preparations included activating more than 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia. Airlines cancelled almost 1000 flights and counting. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1100 trucks.

Sand bags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, N.C., September 12, 2018, as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

But Jeremy Tominack said he stayed so he could keep an eye on his home and help his fellow Wilmington residents after the storm passes.

NOAA also has a collection of live feeds, which include Buxton in North Carolina, and Cherry Beach and Folly Beach in SC.

Where is Hurricane Florence now?

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty. Evacuation orders are in place in the Carolinas and Virginia, and Georgia is in a state of emergency.

Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean as it threatens the US East Coast.

He said if something catastrophic happens to his home, he plans to make his way to a neighbor's house.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird. There is a chance some of that tropical rainfall could pass through portions of the Northeast next Tuesday or Wednesday before we can finally say good riddance to Florence for good. Three other Southern raceways also opened campgrounds to evacuees.

Forecasters are anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

In the case of Hurricane Harvey past year, human-caused warming was found to have made the storm's record-breaking rainfall three times more likely and 15% more intense.

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