Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds

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"Florence is intensifying", said North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper, adding: "This storm is strong, and its gettings stronger".

The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

The center says the storm is moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of about 130 miles per hour.

President Trump on Wednesday said Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 storm barreling toward the East Coast, is "even bigger" than officials expected and warned residents to "get out of its way".

Florence is one of the strongest hurricanes on the eastern seaboard in decades, and will bring a triple threat of risky storm surge, flooding and hurricane-force winds in parts of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states.

If the track shifts farther south, impacts could worsen to include storm surge inundation, damaging winds and excessive rainfall.

What's more certain is beach erosion and unsafe surf conditions.

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At 2 p.m. on September 12, the NHC had storm surge and hurricane warnings in place for most of the North Carolina and SC coast.

Tim Terman's house in Southport, North Carolina, is about 20 feet above sea level.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989. "Heed those warnings and evacuate if you're in one of the zones". Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge". But most people are more concerned about wind damage than storm surge, Baker said.

I know that North Carolinians are a hardy bunch and we've seen nor'easters and hurricanes before, but this one is different.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS: Do you have what you need for the storm? North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

"We have not been asked to take evacuees yet and will evaluate our capability at the time of the request", Ralston said. "The biggest hazard that we're anxious about is storm surge", Long said. "What is flooding going to do to our home, our city?" Florence is now heading for ocean water with surface temperatures of around 85 degrees, meaning it will likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.

"We are already experiencing heavily impacted traffic on some of the evacuation routes", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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