Tracking Hurricane Florence as storm lands in North Carolina

Tracking Hurricane Florence as storm lands in North Carolina

Hurricane Florence remains on track to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to coastal North and SC, the National Weather Service says.

Hurricane Florence is expected to bring "widespread flash flooding, storm surge in coastal areas, and strong winds capable of damaging property and infrastructure". Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and the rain and storm surge will make Florence extremely risky.

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most risky place to be as Florence moved ashore. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward for up to 195 miles.

The monster storm - which briefly flirted with category five status on its march across the Atlantic - was located roughly 170 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina as of 8:00 a.m. EDT Thursday. "A turn to the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected tonight and Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday". Catastrophic river flooding and flash flooding will occur for a large portion of eastern North and SC.

Severe inland flooding is also forecast for the Palmetto State, which is expected to see Florence drift through its Pee Dee, Midlands and Upstate regions on Saturday and Sunday.

"It doesn't matter where you are", he said.

In reality, Florence was downgraded by the National Weather Service from a category 3 to a category 2 storm.

Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds
By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters. On top of the potentially destructive hurricane, forecasters also put parts of North Carolina on tornado watch.

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Hurricane Florence smashes into US East Coast, rescuers scramble
After landfall, the storm is expected to linger over the area for a few days, which would result in rising river levels and lakes. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight. "But I think we're ready".

Hurricane Florence, still a potentially deadly Category 2 hurricane, continued its destructive path for the Carolinas on Thursday and was expected to make landfall sometime between Thursday evening and Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

We've pulled together some of the key elements that explain why officials are so anxious, and what damage Florence could cause.

The powerful hurricane bearing down on the east coast of the U.S. has led airlines to cancel more than 1,245 flights and waive change fees for travellers affected by the storm, USA Today reports.

Hurricane Florence continues to work into North Carolina and SC through Friday. "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins".

"It's a very unsafe storm", Federal Emergency Management Authority administrator Jeff Byard said.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.

As many as 1.5 million people are believed to live within mandatory evacuation zones.

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