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'Don't play games with it': Florence takes aim at Southeast
16 September 2018, 09:00 | Ross Houston
Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast on Sept. 12. Getty Images
Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and the National Hurricane Center fears the storm "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and risky rainfall event Friday-Sunday".
Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations. New projections indicate the now-Category 3 hurricane will move slightly southeast, with landfall expected between Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina.
The steering currents that are moving the storm along are expected to collapse, leaving the center of the storm drifting over the same area for up to a week.
At minimum, Florence should bring 1 to 2 inches of rain to the Upstate, LaCorte said.
NASA released a video of the hurricane on Monday as captured by cameras mounted outside the International Space Station. Find out now if you live in a flood prone area or a location that will be greatly impacted by storm surge.
Meteorologists are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches of rain expected in parts of SC. That would cause historic flooding for the region that would occur during the storm and for days after the rain stops due to river flooding.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculates that Florence could dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain in seven days over the Carolinas and Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.
Still, the potential for coastal flooding remains a concern, they said.
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said maintenance crews are prepping their vehicles and will be holding swift water rescue training Wednesday.
The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Thursday and Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore.
"I don't want folks dropping their guard", he said.
The latest projections of Florence, now a Category 4 storm, show it shifting south putting Georgia in its possible path. "I don't think 30 miles per hour winds would bring them down".
"Just because we have a landfall to your south, that doesn't mean you're out of the woods, because the winds are huge around this system", NHC Director Ken Graham said, pointing out the wide risk of flooding.
As for rain, Hampton Roads should receive 3 to 6 inches, Orrock said, although the amount will vary depending on the area.
"We definitely don't want people to forget about it", Rogers said.
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Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. "We have started to see the water recede". Areas from Wilmington through Fayetteville to Charlotte will experience 500-year to 1,000-year flood events, he said.
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Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to". Wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were reported at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, the hurricane center said.
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Between 1 and 3 million people could lose power in the Carolinas in the wake of Hurricane Florence , according to Duke Energy. The center is slowing down and is expected to stall and perhaps wander around just offshore on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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