Florence to bring life-threatening storm surge

'Extremely Dangerous' Hurricane Florence Prompts Mass Evacuations

'Extremely Dangerous' Hurricane Florence Prompts Mass Evacuations

The National Hurricane Center has issued a storm surge watch, extending from Edisto Beach, South Carolina up through the North Carolina-Virginia border.

As many as 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

"You're going to get heavy rain, catastrophic life-threatening storm surge, and also the winds", Graham said.

Storm -surge warning: South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico rivers as of 2 a.m. Wednesday, the NHC said.

Liz Browning Fox was planning to ride out the storm on the Outer Banks, defying evacuation orders. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime".

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed the gargantuan Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall on Friday and would stall on North and SC and Virginia with maximum winds speeds of around 140mph.

On Wednesday morning, the storm was about 575 miles (925 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kmh). A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches (150 centimetres) for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.

So far, American Airlines flights have not been canceled due to the storm, but it is bracing for the worst and letting travelers potentially affected by the storm change their travel dates without paying change fees, normally around $200 plus a difference in fare, as per CNBC.

The hurricane is generating swells that are already affecting Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.

"The power is going to be off for weeks", warned Long, adding that the hazards will be statewide. Builders in the Raleigh-Durham region have about 7,500 new homes in their inventory, and about 600 are under construction in coastal Wilmington, data from Metrostudy show. "There will be flooding in inland areas as well".

"[The problems were] not while the storm was there", he said.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway. The storm will likely dump between 20 and 30 inches (50 to 76 centimeters) of rain over its track, causing serious flooding.

The center of the massive storm is then forecast to meander Thursday, Friday and Saturday over a stretch of coastline saturated by rising seas, inundating several states and triggering life-threatening floods.

Late Monday, President Donald Trump approved requests for emergency declarations in the Carolinas, which will provide federal assistance to both states.

The last time the USA capital declared a state of emergency was in January 2016 when a winter storm dubbed "Snowzilla" blanketed the capital region in knee-deep snow. She grew up on the island chain, and says this will be only the second time she's evacuated.

"They told me to bring a pillow and blanket", Whisler said.

Charleston, resident William Belli said he would not be among those joining the exodus. "Not anxious in the least".

"I will enjoy the quiet", he said. Public schools and state agencies are closed beginning Tuesday.

Three other games - Campbell at Coastal Carolina, Norfolk State at Liberty and Boston College at Wake Forest - have been rescheduled. "If we try to leave, we'll just get stuck in the rain", she said. Upon immediate landfall, the threats are you standard hurricane threats - storm surge, strong winds, tornadoes. On Tuesday, the Army also tweeted that FEMA had begun setting up trailers at Fort Bragg.

The South Carolina National Guard is trained and stands ready to serve the citizens of South Carolina and to provide safety, security and support when called upon.

It's a scene that's playing out all along the eastern seaboard as Hurricane Florence continues to churn towards the coast.

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