The Potential Reality Of Hurricane Florence Is Terrifying

Water from Neuse River floods houses as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern North Carolina

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the US East Coast as a Category 2 hurricane with winds up to 110mph - slower than yesterday but covering a wider area.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 135 km/h by nightfall.

Airlines have cancelled more than 1,500 flights, and coastal towns across the Carolinas are largely empty after 1.7 million people in three states were told to clear out.

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday", the NHC said. A Wilmington mother and her infant child were the first two fatalities attributed to the storm.

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

Definitely the storm surge, which could be up to 11 feet in some locations.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. When Hurricane Floyd attacked North Carolina in 1999, it didn't stall; Floyd was a fast-moving storm.

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Cooper said 126 shelters are open across the state, with more than 12,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday evening.

"These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2 a.m.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some almost 80 miles (130 km) away.

In Norfolk, Virginia, police were alerted to people dressed in fluorescent vests going door to door and telling residents that they had to leave their homes and businesses, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

If storm cleanup keeps courses closed, it will likely have a heavy impact on hotels, restaurants and the rest of the area's tourist economy.

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Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, triggering risky flooding, toppling trees, cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses while causing at least five deaths.

The hurricane's surge could cover large swathes of the Carolina coast under as much as 11ft (3.3m) of seawater. "The infrastructure's going to break, the power's going to go out. but we are going to do everything that we can to push forward as quickly as we can to get things back up and working".

The hurricane center said the large amount of rainfall "will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

"Do not relax, do not get complacent".

One electricity company fears that three-quarters of its four million customers will lose power as a result of the storm, and may not be reconnected for weeks.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74. They then did the forecast again using conditions that would have been expected in a climate unchanged by human activity, meaning greenhouse gases, aerosols and other atmospheric metrics were all set to "pre-industrial levels", or those found more than 150 years ago.

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