Hurricane Florence bears down on Carolinas

Food Lion employee Greg Partin helps a customer to her car on Monday Sept. 10 2018 at the Woodcroft shopping center in Durham N.C. Residents of eastern and central North Carolina are stripping grocery shelves and emptying supplies of gasoline as Hurric

As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it.

The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 13, 2018.

We are holding out hope for all of those who are in the path of the storm, but for any of you who aren't convinced that Florence has the potential to be deadly, then look no further than this live streaming video from the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, where the sky has darkened and the waves are crashing violently.

Although Florence has recently been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, it's still set to be devastating.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "We can not underestimate this storm". He added later, "Most of the fatalities in these tropical systems is water".

At 5 p.m. Thursday, the center of Florence was 100 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 155 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

For the Columbia area, state and city officials warn of flooding and the likelihood of flash flooding. "A turn toward the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected by tonight and continuing into Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday", the bulletin said. The category ranking of storms only describes the speed of the storm's sustained winds. Storm surge of 13 feet on top of a high tide at 7 feet could overwhelm the town.


Some people, such as Jennie, are refusing to heed evacuation warnings.

Although the storm is approaching the US coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.

And the storm is still expected to bring catastrophic winds, rain, storm surges and flooding, the National Hurricane Center briefing said.

That said, the storm is still expected to stall once it hits the Wilmington coast, with weather officials early Thursday raising the expected total rainfall for Wilmington to 35 inches - weather officials had predicted 30 inches for Wilmington in briefings released Wednesday.

Surges up to 4 meters could inundate Cape Fear, North Carolina to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, with smaller surges ranging from half a meter to 3 meters in coastal areas from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to coastal areas extending north into North Carolina.

Calling the storm surge prediction "incredible", Graham said that because Florence will likely nudge its way onto the coast, giving its hurricane winds lots of time to force water inland, he wouldn't be surprised "to see storm surge a mile, a mile and a half inland - maybe even two miles or more, in some cases".

National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts. Forecasters are predicting as much as 40in of rain in some localized areas.

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