Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area

Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area

Florence was expected to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday local time (5pm Irish time), and forecasters said its size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

Hurricane-force winds began whipping North Carolina as federal emergency management officials warned that the hurricane remained a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than one million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways. The worst of the surge amounts predicted along the North Carolina coastline are 9-13 feet above ground, Feltgen said.

But the real threat from Florence isn't from wind, it's from water, with the National Hurricane Center warning of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

Susan Faulkenberry Panousis has stayed in her Bald Head Island, North Carolina home during prior hurricanes, but not this time. Sand dunes gone storm surge 4' into house knocking down walls first floor. Florence's center will approach the North and SC coasts late Thursday and Friday.

The massive storm will impact millions as it charges toward the southeastern us, and is expected to bring with it massive amounts of rain, risky flooding and powerful storm surges.

Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic. "We just want prayers from everyone".

NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push as far as 3km inland. "I've got four cats inside the house".

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Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

Yesterday, Dr Greg Postel, the network's hurricane specialist, said three feet (0.9m) of water was enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings.

"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income".

In was 1989 when Hurricane Hugo pummeled the Carolinas, causing tremendous destruction - killing 21 people in the USA and 29 in the Caribbean and leaving behind an estimated US$8 billion in damage.

A truck drives through deep water after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded the street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in River Bend, North Carolina.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

Some residents have ignored calls to evacuate.

"He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

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