Hurricane Florence puts 10M people in its crosshairs

A storm surge prediction map

Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired estate agent who had never experienced a Category 4 hurricane said: "I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain".

Hurricane-force winds (74 to 95 mph) are now extending out up to 60 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds are being felt as much as 175 miles around the storm.

The National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon increased its rainfall forecast to 15 to 25 inches of rain and 35 inches in isolated spots.

"In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again", he said.

"Watch out, America! Hurricane Florence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the Space Station", European astronaut Alexander Gerst said in a tweet.

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.

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

More than 5.4 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches on the US East Coast, according to the NWS, and another four million people were under a tropical storm watch.


Described as a monster, the eye of Hurricane Florence continues to grow.

Susan Faulkenberry Panousis has stayed in her Bald Head Island, North Carolina home during prior hurricanes, but not this time.

The ban is the result of an executive order signed by city manager John Pedersen and issued pursuant to the city's State of Emergency that was declared September 9.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence", said Deal.

After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and NY, will move east - but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said. "Now it might be time for the exam", he said. The last Category 4 hurricane to plow directly into North Carolina was Hazel in 1954, a devastating storm that killed 19 people and destroyed some 15,000 homes.

To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients - and Florence has them all. "What is flooding going to do to our home, our city?" "Don't plan to leave once the winds and rains start".

The overall trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird. "You feel like you should have already left".

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