Hurricane Florence: Your guide to the story

Hurricane Florence is continuing to push towards a landfall around the North Carolina/South Carolina border, and is beginning to lash the central Atlantic seaboard with damaging winds and storm surge.

Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The center of the storm is expected to make landfall near Wilmington between 8 a.m. and noon. Tropical-storm-force winds are between 39 and 73 miles per hour.

O'Shaughnessy, head of US Northern Command, said search and rescue would be a top priority, but weather may prevent rescuers from getting in during the hours immediately after the storm hits.

In Hampton Roads, a tropical storm warning is in effect from Poquoson to the Virginia-North Carolina border, including the lower James and York rivers.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 225 km/h, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence. The more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

The National Hurricane Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that Hurricane Florence may lead to a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall.

Storm surge is deadly.

"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners.

"It is scary. When somebody tells you something like that, it's my cue to get out".


The last time the U.S. capital declared a state of emergency was in January 2016 when a winter storm dubbed "Snowzilla" blanketed the capital region in knee-deep snow.

Businesses in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., prepare for Hurricane Florence on Wednesday.

Hurricane Florence is shaping up to be a frightful storm, and it does not look any better when you look at it from space.

Forecasters said Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance", Landsea said: There's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles off shore versus heading inland immediately.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.

General O'Shaughnessy said there were about 7,000 USA military personnel now in place and ready to respond to the storm, along with ships, helicopters, high-wheeled vehicles and other equipment. Being able to analyze the weather and future climate of an area using the physically-based techniques proposed by Emanuel could enable better decision-making with respect to land development. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center briefing said. Will the winds be that strong or they'll be stronger when they get here than that?

Almost 2 million coastal residents are now under mandatory evacuation orders, although it remains unclear how many have actually done so. "But can't replace us, so we made a decision to come here", said the 39-year-old.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.

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