Hurricane Florence seen maintaining strength as it approaches coast: NHC

Leroy Wright
September 14, 2018

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

Already, flooding and waters have struck the North Carolina coastal regions.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.

In the tiny community of Sea Breeze near Wilmington, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptized because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" later.

The storm's path put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as it closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast.

Wild horses in the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, North Carolina will fend for themselves during Hurricane Florence.

Meteorologists have warned some rivers may see their flows "reversed".

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

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One climate model is predicting that as much as 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina in the coming week - an amount that's enough to fill the Empire State Building 40 times over.

While Florence's winds won't be as intense as first feared, the storm could dump as much as 3 feet of rain and generate storm surges as high as 13 feet in coastal areas, the weather service said.

The hurricane's wind speeds have fallen from a category two level of 96-110mph to a category one level of 119-153mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers). Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

But Helene is now moving north east towards the United Kingdom and Isaac is moving west across the Caribbean.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm. That system could develop into a tropical depression by Friday.

Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure.

That said, the storm is still expected to stall once it hits the Wilmington coast, with weather officials early Thursday raising the expected total rainfall for Wilmington to 35 inches - weather officials had predicted 30 inches for Wilmington in briefings released Wednesday.

When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane - in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific - or a typhoon in the Western Pacific. Today, we are facing a chance for showers and thunderstorms. This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it. As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it. This storm surge can be deadly and then the flooding that will come thereafter with rain being measured in feet instead of inches. Low-income residents and the elderly face disproportionate consequences from lack of food and water, loss of electricity, and other elements indirectly and directly attributable to a hurricane.

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