"Once In A Lifetime" Hurricane Florence Weakens, Begins Lashing Eastern US

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet have been forecast in some areas when the monster storm eventually makes landfall in North and SC.

"This is a powerful storm that can kill", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in a Thursday press briefing.

"More significant weakening is forecast on Saturday as Florence moves farther inland over central SC", the NHC said on Thursday.

About 10 million people live in areas that have been under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings and watches. Residents should expect to see higher tides than usual on the James and York rivers, as well as possible flooding and beach erosion.

Inland flooding near New Bern, North Carolina caused by Hurricane Florence's storm surge as predicted by the ADCIRC computer model.

Matthew, a Category 1 storm at landfall, dumped as much as 18 inches of rain in parts of southern North Carolina.

"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says.

Hurricanes can push masses of water from the sea over land when they come ashore, raising local sea levels by as much as 20 feet (6 meters), according to the National Hurricane Center. It is expected to stall and hover over the Carolinas, dumping enormous amounts of rainfall on the region, and causing massive destruction and flooding.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water. Storm surge is why many of you have been placed under evacuation and we are asking citizens to please heed a warning.

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The strongest winds will occur where and when the storm makes landfall in a ring around the calm eye of the storm known as the eyewall.

He added: 'The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen.

And while she hadn't thought about what she'll do if Hurricane Florence floods her neighborhood again, Hardin's here to stay.

Even though the storm's category fell from a 4 to a 2 Wednesday (local time), forecasters stressed the category is only an evaluation of the storm's peak winds in a very narrow core near the center of the storm.

North Carolina and SC are bracing for the onslaught, which could bring storm surges as high as nine feet and rainfall of as much as 40 inches in some areas. Florence has weakened a bit over the past 24 hours, but it has also grown larger and will likely dump torrential rain over North and SC through Monday.

Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "Especially for people that we've already told to evacuate".

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up.

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