Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area

Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area

Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, unsafe surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.

The briefing said Florence "is a large hurricane" with hurricane-force winds extending 80 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds extending 195 miles from the eye of the storm.

The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added.

Workers prepare a house with storm shutters ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.

The NHC notes that amount of rainfall would "produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms. Tropical-storm-force winds are between 39 and 73 miles per hour.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power. He compares Hurricane Florence with Hurricane Isabel, which hit the Virginia and North Carolina area at a similar strength in 2003, leaving about a million people without power and Hatteras Island battered.

For the first time, researchers have calculated the impact of climate change on a hurricane before the storm is over.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

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The hurricane centre's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon (Saturday NZT) around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 105 miles per hour (165 kph) by midmorning, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2. "Not only that, but the wind field actually expands as the center of circulation starts to lose some intensity, you'll start to get hurricane force winds further out from the storm".

Matt Wain, chief operations officer at Medical University of South Carolina Health.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed declarations of emergency for North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, freeing up federal resources for storm response. Hurricane Helene and Subtropical Storm Joyce were off in the Atlantic, posing no threat. The more it hovers just off shore, the more potentially deadly storm surge it could push on-shore. And newly formed Subtropical Storm Joyce is not expected to threaten land soon. Storm winds could intensify through the day and tonight, but weaken slightly Thursday as it nears the coast. The effects of torrential rain are devastating, costly, and deadly, especially in urban areas where concrete comprises the basis of most structures and makes it incredibly hard for water to drain.

Six feet of storm surge could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower levels structures submerged in water, according to Dr Postel. On an island like Puerto Rico, which has limited health care and other types of infrastructure, a hurricane's downstream effects can prove even more devastating than the initial surge.

Although the storm is approaching the USA coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1".

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico. That system could develop into a tropical depression by Friday.

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