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

Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 2 as storm takes aim at Southeast

Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 2 as storm takes aim at Southeast

Hurricane Florence weakened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved towards east coast of the United States, the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said on Wednesday, but a life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall were still expected.

A life-threatening storm surge is now highly likely along portions of the coastlines of SC and North Carolina, and a storm surge warning is in effect for a portion of this area. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters).

The Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph is expected to produce 20 to 30 inches of rain in the coast North Carolina area, and 5 to 10 inches in western SC and northern North Carolina, per the National Weather Service. Elsewhere, in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states, Florence is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain.

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.

Florence remains to be a powerful category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.

If you are waiting to leave South Carolina's coast ahead of Hurricane Florence's expected landfall this weekend, the governor has a message for you: hurry up and get out.

We started the day in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we met Gov. Roy Cooper at the state's emergency operations center.

Duke Energy told The Associated Press that damage from Hurricane Florence could cut off electricity to three-quarters of some 4 million customers in the Carolinas.

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As of now, Florence is due to make landfall very early Friday morning, somewhere in the Carolinas. The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore.

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Emery said Ozil had simply been struggling with illness and he was fit to start the following week against Cardiff. Ozil ended his global career after the World Cup, citing "racism and disrespect" over his Turkish roots.

On Tuesday, the so-called spaghetti models that show various potential paths for a storm had more variability.

More than 300,000 people have already evacuated from the coast, McMaster said, and traffic on the highway was moving steadily on Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 90 miles.

"I tried to stock up on water because I was going to stay initially, but then as the hurricane got closer and it was going to come close to where Lumberton was, I then made the decision to come home", Benson said.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

Benson has lived in North Carolina for more than a decade and now is headed away from the hurricane's destructive path.

First responders around the country are making their way to Wrightsville Beach.

"You've seen how changes can be", Cline said.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

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