Florence begins dumping heavy rain on North Carolina as forecasters predict 10 TRILLION gallons will lash the state as the ‘monster’ Category 2 hurricane takes aim at the U.S. threatening 10 million people and sparking tornado fears

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By Paul Martin

Hurricane Florence put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday
The storm became a dangerous Category 3 hurricane with winds of 130mph and bringing four feet of rain
Storm is predicted to stall before slowly shifting south, hitting the Carolina coast and parts of Georgia
Forecasters said hurricane-force winds will reach the US east coast late Thursday or early Friday
Florence will move slowly along the coast and make landfall on Friday or Saturday and linger through Sunday
More than 1.7 million people were warned to evacuate and get out of the way of the ‘life-threatening’ storm
Parts of the Carolinas are bracing for flooding worse than Hurricane Harvey FEMA warns the biggest danger is storm surge – a wall of water from the sea that could reach 13 feet high
Forecasters say Hurricane Florence is already generating enormous waves as high as 83 feet
A FEMA official described the hurricane as ‘a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast’
North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Georgia governors declared a state of emergency
Officials are already predicting the financial toll from the hurricane could reach $170 billion
The hurricane is expected to pass over six nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina
Airlines have started canceling flights to and from the hurricane zone for the rest of the week

13 September 2018

North Carolina felt the first bite of monster Hurricane Florence on Thursday morning as the outer bands of wind and rain from the life-threatening storm bore down on the US east coast.

The huge storm weakened to a Category 2 hurricane overnight, but forecasters warned that it still packed a dangerous punch with 110 mph winds, life-threatening storm surge and torrential rains.

The center of Florence is expected to hit North Carolina’s southern coast Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday.

Georgia joined North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland in issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain – potentially 10 trillion gallons – on the southern states.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina Thursday night or Friday.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

Businesses and homes in the storm’s path were boarded up and thousands of people had moved to emergency shelters by Thursday.

Officials urged anyone who remained near the coast to flee, saying that the time to evacuate was running short.

‘This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast,’ said Jeff Byard from Federal Emergency Management Agency.

‘This is not going to be a glancing blow,’ he added, warning of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life.

As Florence closed in, President Donald Trump and state and local officials urged residents in the path of the storm to continue evacuating.

‘We are completely ready for hurricane Florence, as the storm gets even larger and more powerful. Be careful!’ Trump tweeted.

Florence’s maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 110 miles per hour after it was downgraded to a Category 2. The storm was about 170 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warned that Florence remained deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane.

Director Ken Graham said there was nothing ‘minor’ about Florence. Water causes the most deaths during tropical storms and hurricanes and Florence is expected to cause catastrophic inland flooding with some spots getting as much as 40 inches of rain.

Areas that repeatedly get hit even with weaker winds at Florence’s edges could see heavy rainfall for hours. Storm surge flooding also could push two miles or more inland if Florence lingers for days along the coast, forecasters warned.

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