Hurricane Florence: Game Time

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland have declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm.

While the storm has since weakened, a storm surge of more than 12-feet and almost 30-inches of rain is still expected.

More than a thousand flights have been canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence's arrival in the Carolinas, and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended as the region braces for impact.

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most unsafe place to be as Florence moved ashore. Also, the hurricane-force winds and tropical storm-force winds have been expanding. The hurricane is now centered about 220 miles (354km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and 170 miles to the south-east of Wilmington, North Carolina. It's expected to move slowly over eastern SC on Friday night through Saturday night.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", NHC forecasters warned.

Florence, though downgraded to a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, remained risky and unpredictable, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.

In reality, Florence was downgraded by the National Weather Service from a category 3 to a category 2 storm.


Florence's hurricane-force winds extend up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds extend up to 195 miles.

Hurricane Florence's centre is most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins".

"This is no ordinary storm, and people could be without power for a very long time - not days but weeks", a president of one energy company in North Carolina said on Wednesday.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

Numerous communities throughout the region have issued either mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

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