Hurricane Florence: Travel Begins To Snarl As Storm Closes In

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT

And while the millions affected finalize their emergency plans, try to, um, shoot the weather into submission (please don't do this), and hopefully take the official advice to get the hell out of its path, even more have been watching Florence's trajectory and forecast via online tracker sites and apps. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today.

"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.

The National Hurricane Center listed the massive storm moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour with winds about 130 miles per hour, and expected to reach the coast Thursday night to Friday morning, The News & Observer reported. That puts it at the upper range of Category 2 storms, which have winds from 96 to 110 miles per hour. But when it comes to water, the maximum wind speed matters less than the size of the wind field for both storm surge and the destructive power of waves moving onshore.

The zone where these intense winds occur will be narrow and they will last just a few hours, but the effects will probably be severe, similar to a tornado.

"It can still kill you".

But what forecasters are keeping an eye on, in particular, is the forward motion of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast from Thursday night until landfall Saturday morning or so, about a day later than previously expected.

According to WRAL meteorologist Gardner, the Triangle will start feeling tropical storm force winds by Friday.

McMaster warned of possible landslides in the Upstate, portions of which could get drenched with 10 inches of ran over the weekend.

Tim Bowen said nearby cities like Kinston and Goldsboro are more inland, but have a history of severe flooding and the situation might be even worse for evacuees.

The strongest winds will occur where and when the storm makes landfall in a ring around the calm eye of the storm known as the eyewall.

Though most residents of North and SC and other areas in the hurricane's path have abided by the mandatory evacuation order, Kourounis jokes that the Waffle House is still open.

"It's going to be a lot of wind".

"The limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", FlightAware said in its noon report. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., head of the S.C. National Guard.

Up to 40 inches of rain could fall in North Carolina.

Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying.

"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective", University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said. Brian Wierzbicki, with U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

In yet another reminder to those in the path of the storm, it's worth noting that Trump also said the response to last year's hurricane in Puerto Rico - which officially killed almost 3,000 people - had been "incredibly successful".

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