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15 September 2018, 02:12 | Ross Houston
President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC, opening the way for federal aid.
Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland.
"These enormous waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction [of] the storm's motion", the agency said.
The Department of Information Technology, headed by North Carolina CIO Eric Boyette, also has a major presence at the state's emergency operations center, located at the North Carolina National Guard's headquarters in Raleigh.
Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 13 feet (nearly 4 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states.
The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring unsafe rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina and 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.
According to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean, current forecast puts Florence stalling upon reaching the Carolina coast before making a slight shift south and barreling down SC.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.
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The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. The Category 3 hurricane is expected to be one of the biggest on record to hit Virginia and the Carolinas, potentially causing as much as $170 billion in property damage, according to at least one estimate.
In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state. "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday".
"A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday", the hurricane center says. It is estimated that the wind speed in the eye of the hurricane reaches 200 km/h.
Some areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 inches of rain through early next week in the area shaded in purple in the second image above.
"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said.
The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide. Additional swell courtesy of other activity in the tropics keeps plenty of fun surf around for the weekend, so stay tuned to the regional forecast updates for the latest.
"It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"But despite that, bad things can happen when you are talking about a storm this size", he added. "If we try to leave, we'll just get stuck in the rain".
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Juncker said the European Union would "always show loyalty and solidarity with Ireland when it comes to the Irish border". Each service provider will have a designated point of contact to facilitate communication with the member states.