Hurricane Florence: North Carolina residents urged to leave

Renoir stolen by Nazis returned to rightful owner                         Read more

Renoir stolen by Nazis returned to rightful owner Read more

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation? Infrared imagery showed the power and the extent of this massive storm.

Hurricane Florence smashed into the US East Coast on Friday with howling winds, torrential rains and life-threatening storm surges as emergency crews scrambled to rescue hundreds of people stranded in their homes by flood waters. It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. September 14.

Along with the high winds and storm surge, forecasters are very concerned that Florence could be a slow-moving storm.

That's because the weather systems that push and pull a storm disappear as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC.

After appearing headed toward the North Carolina-Virginia border at one point, Florence shifted south and is now taking aim at the Carolinas. This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

It had sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and was moving in a northwest direction.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.

In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a fatal heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.

A "storm surge watch" is issued when flooding is possible, while a "warning" is issued when flooding is expected.

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NHC stated at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars and surface observations to be just inland near latitude 34.1 degrees north and longitude 77.9 degrees west.

After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that would see the system likely lingering for days.

A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at 105 miles per hour, the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (1m) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC. Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

In addition, preparing for hurricane-force winds is different than for storm surge, he said. The National Hurricane Center said Florence was "forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the USA coast late Thursday and Friday". "I appreciate the professionalism of Ray Tanner and the SC athletic department during a hard circumstance".

Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances. The following list encompasses local, national, and global organizations offering a variety of services during the crisis.

"While Florence's maximum winds are expected to weaken a little, it is still expected to remain a risky major hurricane as it approaches the coast", they warned in a Wednesday mid-day update.

"We may have 60% of the tobacco harvested in North Carolina". While inland areas may be spared the strongest winds, they could be vulnerable to flooding, especially if close to overflowing rivers. Wilmington is expected to get battered before the storm drifts south.

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