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Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

The storm, which is poised to affect millions this week in the southeastern US, is "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and the National Hurricane Center fears the storm "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and unsafe rainfall event Friday-Sunday". In contrast to the hurricane center's official projection, a highly regarded European model had the storm turning southward off the North Carolina coast and coming ashore near the Georgia-South Carolina line. Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 13 feet (nearly 4 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states.

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

Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

A hurricane warning along with a storm surge warning has been issued for Wilmington and surrounding areas.

The hurricane could also produce heavy and excessive rainfall - up to 40 inches in isolated areas in the Carolinas and anywhere between 6 to 12 inches elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic region.




Hurricane force winds can be expected up to 70-miles from the center of the storm, and tropical storm force winds can reach up to 175-miles.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Category 4 storm was about 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and moving northwest at about 16 mph.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles. Florence is stronger, so you should at least be prepared for some power outages and tree damage even if the storm does not come near us.

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

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Isaac will strike the islands of the Lesser Antilles, with Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique under a tropical storm warning.

Greg Postel, hurricane and storm specialist for The Weather Channel.


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