SC coastline battered as Hurricane Florence lands

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

As Hurricane Florence clobbers the Carolinas, it's forecast to bring rain and some flooding risks to Maryland on Friday and Saturday.

Observation stations at the coast recorded wind speeds of more than 80 miles per hour, the advisory said.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press. Florence is now a strong Category 2 storm.

By the time it leaves, it's expected to have unloaded 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, meteorologist Ryan Maue said. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas". "For these airports along the coast, like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues".

In the meantime, "treat the inland flooding just as seriously as you would the storm surge", said Clark.

Like a bulldozer, the storm's winds and forward motion will push a tremendous amount of water onshore when it makes landfall. "We are going to see serious water quality problems".

While Florence has lost some of its strength, it is still considered an extremely risky and life-threatening storm. Outer bands from the hurricane were lashing land on Thursday, at least a full day before the National Hurricane Center expects the slow-moving storm's eye to blow ashore around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

In August 2017, Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 and practically stalled over southern Texas, dropping record-breaking rain in many areas and causing widespread flooding.

What also makes Florence extremely unsafe are the deadly storm surges, mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall expected far inland.

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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state.

Vickie Grate, left, waits in a shelter with her son Chris, center, and his girlfriend Sarah, who only gave their first names, for Hurricane Florence to pass after evacuating from their nearby homes, in Conway, South Carolina, Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Storm surge is expected to reach up to 4m, inundating coastal lowlands.

The storm's eye was about 145 miles southeast of Wilmington as of 11 a.m., the briefing said.

"This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina", Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm's strength should continue through Thursday.

As we head into the end of the week, Hurricane Florence is fast approaching the climax of her journey across the Atlantic to wreak devastation on the US East Coast - giving us some breathtaking - and slightly terrifying - footage as she comes. "We can not underestimate this storm".

The storm is also predicted to bring historic rainfall of up to 35 inches to the Wilmington region. So the winds here are actually going to be probably 30, maybe 35 miles per hour with some gusts to 40 which normally would not be a big deal but with the heavy rain, that causes trees to come down so we could still see trees and power outages from the much lower wind speeds.

Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land, the murkier its future gets.

"Think of it like a marathon", said Mark Robinson, from The Weather Network, also in Wilmington with Kourounis.

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