Science

Hurricane Center says Florence close to landfall in North Carolina

Hurricane Center says Florence close to landfall in North Carolina

The storm was a risky Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm Thursday.

Yesterday, Dr Greg Postel, the network's hurricane specialist, said three feet (0.9m) of water was enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings.

Hurricane Florence is weakening slightly as it continues toward the Carolina coastal areas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, adding that life-threatening storm surge and rainfall were still expected.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet high as Florence churned toward shore.

"The first bands are upon us", Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday evening. For a Category 2 storm, that means sustained winds of 154-177 km/h (96-110 mph). "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact-and we have that".

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by what officials called a "once in a lifetime" storm.

US Southeast power companies said more than 188,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and SC were without power early Friday as Hurricane Florence caused a deluge ahead of its landfall later in the day.

Hurricane Florence is beginning to bear down on the Carolinas with heavy winds and rising tides.




A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

Weather forecasts estimate that the Category 2 storm could dump 17 trillion gallons of rain on the East Coast.

Wild horses in the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, North Carolina will fend for themselves during Hurricane Florence. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding.

Although the storm is approaching the US coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.

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

"We'll operate without power; we have candles". "If you're told to go, you need to go".

He said there are about 7,000 USA military forces now in place and ready to respond to the storm - along with ships, helicopters and high-wheeled vehicles. "We chose to hunker down".