Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Hurricane Florence: Storm force winds for North Carolina within hours

Hurricane Florence: Storm force winds for North Carolina within hours

Between 1 millions and 3 million people will likely lose power when Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week, according to a Wednesday report from Duke Energy.

People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down on the coast for a direct hit in a low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

The tropical storm, barreling across the Atlantic Ocean towards the East Coast of the United States, weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm on a scale of 5 but still had maximum sustained wind speeds of 125mph as of 6pm (BST).

The first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) were forecast to hit the coast on Thursday.

Ahead of Hurricane Florence's expected landfall Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott announced that the state will deploy resources to assist those affected in North and SC.

"We have seen a dramatic shift in the track", Scasny said, adding that big changes to the storm's behavior could emerge within the next two days. 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.

A state of emergency has been declared in both North and SC.

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As it turns into southern SC . "It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane", said North Carolina Gov. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Monday ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents.

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It also said the phone maker planned to release a new version of the Apple Watch , with a larger display and reduced edges. The Apple Watch isn't an iPhone-like revenue generator, but is part of the company's growing Other Products segment.

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North and SC and Virginia ordered mass evacuations along the coast, but getting out of harm's way could prove hard . Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the state. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House.

A hurricane warning was also in effect for all of the North Carolina coast and the northern coast of SC, while a hurricane watch was in effect for the rest of the SC seaboard.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents. In South Carolina, Beaufort County Emergency Management Division Commander Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case.

"Today is the time to get your preparedness actions complete", he said. Residents have been urged to be prepared.

Fox News reported that sustained winds were picking up a bit along the North Carolina coast.

The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said. Most other beachgoers were long gone. "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.

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