Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Eyewall of Florence slams Carolinas as Cat-1 hurricane

Eyewall of Florence slams Carolinas as Cat-1 hurricane

A monster. A once-in-a-lifetime storm.

Hurricane Florence weakened somewhat early Thursday, but weather officials cautioned that the storm will still bring life-threatening conditions.

Others turned to social media and held live prayer sessions asking God to cause Hurricane Florence to lose strength.

Images captured by Associated Press journalists show the angst of evacuation and solitary beachgoers finding moments of calm before the storm.

Meanwhile, Facebook groups such as Hurricane Florence 2018 Jacksonville, NC stepped up to connect evacuees with people willing to pay for their gas or offer spare bedrooms - or in one case, trampolines - where they can stay.

Beaches throughout the region will see storm surges as high as 12 feet, with the surge expected to cause structural damage to buildings in many areas, with homes on barrier islands washed away entirely. Cloud cover that could encompass multiple states.

The path of Hurricane Florence sees it going over some of the poorest areas on the eastern seaboard. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached out to 195 miles (315 kilometers). Some regions are expected to receive more than 20 inches of rain from the hurricane and its giant knot of storm clouds. "Flood waters are very unsafe".

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power. The losses won't be easily or quickly overcome.

As of 4 a.m., Florence was 30 miles (45 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

At the North Carolina Zoo, workers this week were trying to figure out what to do with 1,600 animals.

Hurricane Florence is on track to blast the southeastern US coast with ferocious winds and rain, but it may also swamp hog manure pits and coal ash dumps, spreading their toxins; as well as inundate nuclear reactors in the region, according to news reports.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 225 km/h, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management.

Undeniably enormous, and frightfully powerful, the storm has captured the imagination of astronauts watching over it from orbit.

How big is Hurricane Florence? .

"We've had a insane amount of animals go into foster", a shelter manager said Thursday.

Some Florence evacuees are steering toward Bristol Motor Speedway near the Tennessee-Virginia border and Atlanta Motor Speedway, where campgrounds have been opened for people fleeing the storm. Here's ABC's Ginger Zee talking about debris flying past her face in Wilmington for nearly a full minute before having the sense to come in out of the rain, as George Stephanopoulos says, "Take shelter, please!" "While we can't attribute this hurricane exclusively to climate change, we do expect these types of intense hurricanes to happen more often as the world warms".

One woman tweeted that her auto and house were both under water and that she was stuck in her attack.

Many spent the night in shelters, sleeping in corridors with their pets, belongings and family members. The shopping list for people who have made a decision to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine.

"Get prepared on the East Coast", Gerst warned when Tweeting the photo.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

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