Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence

Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line. The actual landfall - when the center of the eye reaches land - will be Friday afternoon at the earliest, said Neil Jacobs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In August 2017, Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 and practically stalled over southern Texas, dropping record-breaking rain in many areas and causing widespread flooding. President Donald Trump said there was nothing to fear because his administration did such good work responding to last year's storms - including Hurricane Maria, which killed 3,000 people in Puerto Rico. With the storm expected to "stick" on the high-pressure ridge, moving north, west, or northwest seems to be safest. A tropical storm warning covers the area from north of Duck to the Virgina Tidewater area.

"This is a big storm, physically, very large". It marks the beginning of a prolonged assault from wind and water, which - by the time it's over - is likely to bring devastating damage and flooding to millions of people in the Southeast. Closer to central North Carolina, Fayetteville could see winds of 27 miles per hour.

Despite the drop in maximum sustained winds, forecasters stress that this hurricane is not to be taken lightly. Thousands of Marines and their families evacuated from Camp Lejeune, leaving the rest to dig in ahead of what could be a direct hit. Officials are urging others in its path to follow suit, or prepare for the worst.

Some ignored warnings, choosing instead to hunker down at home and take their chances.

The storm's forward motion has slowed 11km/h since Wednesday (local time), which was predicted as the storm nears the coast.

Kourounis and Robinson have seen their share of hurricanes, many of them together.

WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich told WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry that the shift of Florence means more rain for the Charlotte area.

Now, there are signs that Hurricane Florence could deliver a similar blow to the East Coast beginning on Thursday, making it even more important to evacuate before the storm arrives. Parts of the Carolinas could see 50 cm to 76 cm, with isolated areas getting 101 cm, over seven days along the coast.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports. Forecasters are also tracking two other disturbances.

And now, many more people, houses and buildings are set to endure hurricane-force winds, which extend 80 miles out from Florence's center.

In addition to the hurricane's obvious risks, the National Weather Service says, "A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday". The storm will have winds in the 105 miles per hour range. "It's an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane". Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads.

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