For meteorologists, Florence ‘is a horrific nightmare storm’

Trump says he's getting 'tremendous accolades' on hurricane prep

Trump says he's getting 'tremendous accolades' on hurricane prep

Florence's nighttime winds were down to 110 miles per hour from a high of 140 miles per hour, and the Category 3 storm fell to a Category 2, with a further slow weakening expected as the storm nears the coast.

The wide storm has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane and forecasters expect top winds to drop more as it nears the shore, but they're sharing a giant dose of uncertainty.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from Hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd and Matthew", it said.

"We're on the wrong side of this storm".

On Wednesday morning, the storm was about 550 miles from the Carolina coast and remains a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia, and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. This storm surge can be deadly and then the flooding that will come thereafter with rain being measured in feet instead of inches.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was seeking next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to evacuate.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington.

With the change in the forecast, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies, and asked people to pray for those in Florence's path.

"Don't relax, don't get complacent".

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

More than 10 million people live in areas under warnings or watches for hurricane- or tropical storm- force winds, CNN reports.

Hurricanes are categorized on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest.

For many of those under evacuation orders, getting out of harm's way has proved difficult, as airlines canceled flights and motorists had a hard time finding gas. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm.

Duke Energy warned that Florence could cut off power to anywhere from 1 million to 3 million customers in North and SC, potentially leaving them without electricity for several weeks, said spokeswoman Grace Rountree. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm.

After Hurricane Harvey dropped a record-breaking 27 trillion gallons of rain on Texas a year ago, scientists are predicting that an increase in moisture will be expected from these storms in our warming world.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that has since been downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a hotel in Wilmington several miles inland.

On Wednesday, McMaster said that emergency lane reversals - using all lanes of I-26 out of Charleston and Highway 501 near Myrtle Beach for westbound traffic - will cease on Thursday, two days after the measure was instituted.

Near the beach in Wilmington, a Waffle House restaurant, part of a chain with a reputation for staying open during disasters, had no plans to close, even if power is lost. "If I can't get back in a week, after awhile they might turn on each other or trash the place".

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