Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up

It is updating its outages in North and SC in real-time.

"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says.

The fierce winds of Hurricane Florence are weakening as it creeps closer to North Carolina but the impact of the enormous storm will still be catastrophic for millions of people.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water.

The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore. Many of them remain abandoned, their water-damaged interiors visible from the street through shattered windows. The storm was moving northwest at 10 miles per hour.

Florence is forecast to hit land on Friday and the U.S. National Weather Service predicts some areas will see more than 750 millimetres of rain.

Hurricane Florence, they found, will grow about 50 miles (80 kilometers) larger and will dump 50 percent more rain over a period from September 11 to September 16 than it would have in a world before climate change. And Florence's large wind field will add to the perils as the storm grinds over beaches and inland. When fierce winds keep up for a long time, homes are "going to start to deteriorate". With max winds at 105 miles per hour. "And that will produce a lot of damage as well as prolong the beach erosion".

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.

Water levels continue to rise in eastern North Carolina, flooding New Bern and the Neuse River as winds furiously push water westward across Pamlico Sound.

Despite the drop in maximum sustained winds, forecasters stress that this hurricane is not to be taken lightly.

Tens of thousands of people are already without power. Officials are urging others in its path to follow suit, or prepare for the worst.

At a press conference Thursday morning, officials stressed that Hurricane Florence's wind speed may have fallen, but the danger has not. "Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" are expected in portions of the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

With an ear-splitting howl and booming surf, Hurricane Florence has arrived. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars. And yet Florence's eye is still well out to sea.

Why is Florence so large?

Storm surge is one of the clearest climate change links when talking about Florence.

Forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina on Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Energy companies have also warned that the storm could knock out power for the foreseeable future in some areas. Another 8 million people live in areas covered by hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads.

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