Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Trinidadians in the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Florence

Trinidadians in the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Florence

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, a Category 2 storm with 100 miles per hour sustained winds as of Thursday evening, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning.

As of 8am ET on Thursday, Florence was driving maximum sustained winds of 110mph (177km/h), according to an updated forecast from the National Hurricane Center. Evacuation orders are in place in the Carolinas and Virginia, and Georgia is in a state of emergency.

Hurricane Florence is expected to bring "widespread flash flooding, storm surge in coastal areas, and strong winds capable of damaging property and infrastructure".

Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power.

In the North Carolina town of Rodanthe, on Hatteras Island, Rebecca Well Hooper shot video of the pier early Thursday afternoon.

"Inland flooding will be a major threat and something people far from the landfall location should be concerned about", Miller said. "I hope we don't but that might be the only thing that would affect us", James said.

In its 2 p.m. September 13 update, the NHC the storm is getting hit by the Outer Banks and southeastern North Carolina.

Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

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On the forecast track, Isaac will move near or over the central Lesser Antilles on Thursday. As of Wednesday afternoon, Helene had maximum sustained winds near 90 miles per hour .

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More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. The typhoon is expected to make landfall in the Philippines Saturday before barreling toward China, Vietnam and Laos.

Time is running short to flee Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm zeroing in on the Southeastern coast with more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty.

Storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski tweeted at around 1:30 p.m. that storm surge slammed North Topsail beach.

Despite pleas from state and local officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

The storm's center was about 170 miles southeast of Wilmington at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a National Hurricane Center briefing.

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

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