Hurricane Florence: What we know and what to expect

Atlantic Beach United States. Coastal cities in North Carolina South Carolina and Virgnia are under evacuation orders as the Cate

Ken Graham, director of the hurricane center, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 3 kilometers (2 miles).

Set to hit the Carolinas around Friday afternoon, Florence was at one point classified as a Category 4 storm but has since been downgraded to Category 2, 6ABC reported. It is now at Category 1.

Almost 2 million coastal residents are now under mandatory evacuation orders, although it remains unclear how many have actually done so.

Florence diminished from hurricane strength as it came ashore on Friday, but the large storm's slow progress across the two states could leave much of the region under water in the coming days, according to forecasters.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.

Some of the forecasts called for a storm surge of nine to 16 feet, and Harvey wondered where all of that water would collect.

Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, United States. "This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina".

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril.

As Hurricane Florence begins to hammer the Carolinas, a few fliers managed to escape the storms path, arriving at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Thursday just before the hurricane is predicted to made landfall.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

"Now we just have to figure out how to get hot coffee", said Mary Holland, standing on the porch of her home that was built in 1889. "Have some pity on us because if you stay here and you have a problem and we have to get out in it, there's a chance that we won't because we can't". Hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, while tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles.

"We're keeping some people late until about 8 o'clock tonight in case things happen, and then we're bringing the next shift in, and they'll be here through the night", he said.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia - as well as the U.S. capital Washington.

Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"It is imperative that everyone follow local evacuation orders".

North Carolina will see up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period, National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, and a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain, authorities said.

"I end up hearing more negative stories about leaving than staying", Mrs. Mramer said. "I learned from the past to keep the ice in the washing machine".

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