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‘Storm of a lifetime’: Hurricane Florence barrels toward Carolinas as residents flee

13 September 2018

An estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be under a hurricane or storm advisory, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Centre, and businesses and homes in the storm's path were boarded up in anticipation. The agency is also warning people in the evacuation areas to leave stating that "This is not going to be a glancing blow".

Coastal storm surge is expected to be as high as 13 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for the entire state, including Cobb County, as Hurricane Florence nears landfall along the coast of the Carolinas. By Sunday, Florence will have dissipated to a tropical storm, and by Monday morning it will be a tropical depression. The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour earlier in the week but North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against complacency because of the drop.

The storm will be a test of President Donald Trump's administration less than two months before elections to determine control of Congress.

The rest of South and North Carolina as well as southwest Virginia may see up to 24 inches of rain. "Not only that, but the wind field actually expands as the center of circulation starts to lose some intensity, you'll start to get hurricane force winds further out from the storm". Its new path indicates that after arriving in the area near Wilmington, North Carolina, the storm will dip to the south before resuming a western course, the FWS explained in the statement.

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Georgia, crashes into waves from Hurricane Florence, Wednesday, September 12, 2018, on the south beach of Tybee Island, Georgia. A large portion of eastern North Carolina is under a tornado watch all day today and into tonight. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. Many major roads and arteries have reversed traffic flow to help residents evacuate quickly.

What also makes Florence extremely unsafe are the deadly storm surges, mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall expected far inland.

Up to 1.7million residents on the eastern seaboard have been scrambling to evacuate their homes as government officials warned the hurricane would deliver a "Mike Tyson punch" to South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

NHC noted s Storm Surge Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

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.

FlightAware expects the number of cancellations to rise, although "the limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a statement. The four named storms in the Atlantic come as one in the Pacific is hitting Hawaii.

‘Storm of a lifetime’: Hurricane Florence barrels toward Carolinas as residents flee