10M in crosshairs of Hurricane ‘Florence’

Nightmare Hurricane Florence Poses Far Reaching Dangers

Nightmare Hurricane Florence Poses Far Reaching Dangers

Hurricane Florence is continuing to push towards a landfall around the North Carolina/South Carolina border, and is beginning to lash the central Atlantic seaboard with damaging winds and storm surge.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre said the storm would weaken after making landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days.

"Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland." the NHC said.

A National Weather Service forecaster has said it will be the "storm of a lifetime" for parts of the Carolina coast.

But despite the drop in wind strength, the most unsafe threat comes from Florence's rains and storm surge, which could bring flooding far inland. And this, he said, is like nothing Toronto has ever seen.

By early evening, almost 70,000 residents were without electricity, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

In Sea Breeze, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptised because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" after the storm, she told Reuters news agency. "We've prepared all our supplies at home and frankly, we were bored".

Image: Waters come ashore in Avon, North Carolina. "Going on two years and here comes another hurricane".

Speaking on Thursday, North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, said: "We can not underestimate this storm". "I am frightened about what's coming. We just need to figure out how to make it through".

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage would be all the worse if it lingered on the coast.

One electricity company fears that three-quarters of its four million customers will lose power as a result of the storm, and may not be reconnected for weeks.

By late Thursday afternoon, Florence's fierce headwinds were already uprooting trees and tearing down power lines and had ripped the roof off of at least one building in coastal North Carolina, according to news station WGHP.

The storm remained a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.

The storm's center was about 170 miles southeast of Wilmington at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a National Hurricane Center briefing.

Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 900mm of rain, triggering severe flooding.

Safety consultant Dennis Parnell, of Hampstead, North Carolina, plans to ride out the storm with his wife Cheri. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

The Carolinas will bear the brunt of the storm, but as it moves inland, Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland will also be hit.

Despite pleas from officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate.

A wind pattern that allows a storm to get strong and stay strong.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded. Instead, they drove 150 miles (240 km) inland to his mother's house in Durham.

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear-skies high-pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI.

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