Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 2, still considered risky

Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 2, still considered risky

Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference won't make it any less unsafe, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Center discussion. "Be safe!" He tweeted.

In an urgent plea, he said: "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get to safety, because no possession is worth your life".

Hurricane Florence is moving closer to the coast of North and SC, where it is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Thursday.

Florence's center will approach the North and SC coast late Thursday and Friday, but it's unclear where it will make landfall. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in parts of the region while university campuses, schools, and factories have been shut. "We want to be able to protect our investments, our homes".

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

Maryland, though, could be spared the catastrophic flooding thought possible in recent days.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, underscored the danger of the storm surge in an interview with "Good Morning America".

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Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (225 km per hour), Florence's trajectory showed its center most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by Friday, the National Hurricane Center said. "It's the most deadly part of the hurricane that comes in - it causes the most amount of destruction". And there will be flooding in the inland areas as well.

The White House has approved requests from North Carolina and SC for federal emergency declarations, allowing for greater coordination among states and federal agencies.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.

Mr McMaster said: "Even responders can not stay there".

"Marshall Athletics Director Mike Hamrick and I have been in constant contact throughout the week about the game", Tanner said. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

The US Coast Guard said it closed the ports of Wilmington and Moorehead City in North Carolina and restricted port operations in Charleston, South Carolina.

More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. The outer bands of Hurricane Florence are visible as the storm approaches, on September 12, 2018 in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

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