Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds

Hurricane Florence from space

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but it is still considered an extremely unsafe and life-threatening storm.

Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding is likely over portions of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states from late this week into early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

Hurricane Florence was on course Wednesday to deliver a devastating blow to the east coast of the United States, with millions urged to flee inland hours before it was due to announce its arrival with torrential downpours.

"Don't play games with it".

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Forecasters say those areas could be battered with hurricane conditions for at least 24 hours. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. In contrast to the hurricane center's official projection, a highly regarded European model had the storm turning southward off the North Carolina coast and coming ashore near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

The shift in the projected track spread concern to areas that once thought they were relatively safe.

As residents of the region prepared by stocking up on essentials, officials called on them to evacuate to higher ground.

"We've had our lessons".

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination. You're going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas.

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"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said. So we could have two landfalls - one around Wilmington and then one near Myrtle Beach or even south of there. "These are our homes, we live here full-time".

"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country".

Mr Cooper's warnings were echoed by his SC counterpart, Henry McMaster, who stated that emergency services may not be able to reach residents if they remain in areas where evacuation orders have been issued.

"As you know most loss of life and threats to life are from the surge", he said. Most other beachgoers were long gone.

"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting". "You feel like you should have already left".

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