Hurricane Florence lashes USA with rain and wind

Hurricane Florence lashes USA with rain and wind

Washington Post: "Category 4 Hurricane Florence drawing closer to Carolinas and threatens "catastrophic" flooding" - "Expanding in size, violent Hurricane Florence is continuing on a beeline toward the East Coast as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane".

As of 8 p.m., the storm was centered 335 miles (540 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 16 mph (26 kph).

Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service said Hurricane Florence will bring a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to parts of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states.

State and federal officials have frequently urged residents in the target zone to evacuate but there was resistance along the coast.

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.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence is expected to come ashore as a major hurricane on Friday.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia while schools and factories were being shuttered. In North Carolina, Cooper says, "2,800 soldiers will be on active duty, joined by even more on standby".

"Between the lines: Hurricane Florence could become the strongest hurricane on record to strike so far north if it makes landfall north of the border between SC and North Carolina as a Category 4 or 5 storm".

A vehicle navigates a flooded Ocean Boulevard during Hurricane Florence in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S. September 14, 2018.

More news: Wherever Florence makes landfall - its impact will be far-reaching

Henry McMaster lifted the mandatory evacuation order for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties Tuesday morning.

Then, as the high-pressure system steering Florence weakens, the hurricane is expected to hang out inland for days, showering the region with rain much like Hurricane Harvey did to Houston a year ago.

More than 400 hundred officers from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will be stationed in the coastal areas to help assists evacuation and protect property.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all three states, with Florence likely to bring widespread flooding and destruction once it arrives.

Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

The NHC said Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land.

Hurricane Florence has inundated United States coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and forecasters say conditions will only worsen as the hulking storm slogs inland.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that Fema and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

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