Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States, September 10, 2018. This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend.
The storm was a unsafe Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm Thursday.
He said the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of the state-activated National Guard troops. "For these airports along the coast, like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues".
The precipitation from Florence will start midday Thursday and then it will rain for four days, said CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater.More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in Virginia and the Carolinas, where up to 40 inches of rain could fall.
Businesses and homes in the storm's path were boarded up and thousands of people had moved to emergency shelters, officials said.
The storm has slowed considerably and was moving at 5 miles per hour toward the Port City.
Heavy rain, gusting winds and rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence deluged the Carolinas on Thursday as the massive, slow-moving storm crept toward the coastline, threatening millions of people in its path with record rainfall and punishing surf.
"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. And Florence's large wind field will add to the perils as the storm grinds over beaches and inland. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact - and we have that".
Inland flooding near New Bern, North Carolina caused by Hurricane Florence's storm surge as predicted by the ADCIRC computer model.
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. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, the utility warned.
In the North Carolina town of Wilmington, which could take a direct hit from Florence, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River. The area will suffer far beyond the immediate effects expected.
"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.
By the time the storm leaves the region, forecasters expect that it will have dumped 50 to 70 centimeters of rain in coastal areas, with some parts possibly being inundated with up to 100 centimeters.
"Extremely unsafe winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage".
Storm surges aren't walls of water, like a tsunami, as commonly thought.
Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.
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.
U.S. television networks said 7pm to 7am curfews had been put in place in several towns surrounding Myrtle Beach.
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