Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears

Hurricane Florence

Officials in at least one area that ordered an evacuation will be going to homes to ask people planning to ride it out for information on their next of kin, CNN reported Wednesday.

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but it is still considered an extremely unsafe and life-threatening storm.

The eye was about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

FRIDAY: Widespread showers and thunderstorms. By Sunday, Florence will have dissipated to a tropical storm, and by Monday morning it will be a tropical depression.

Last year's blitz of hurricanes was all the more unusual because the East Coast had enjoyed more than a decade of relative calm.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the three-state region.

Weekend sporting events have already been canceled, with possibly more to come.

The shift south and west will encompass more of SC and western North Carolina.

A man helps board up Aussie Island surf shop in anticipation of Hurricane Florence's high storm surge.

A storm surge warning has been issued from South Santee River, SC, to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

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The footage was captured on Monday, September 10, as the storm bears down on mainland USA, first heading towards North Carolina but now possibly veering slightly more towards SC.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

On a conference call with media, David Fountain, the Duke Energy North Carolina President, said they were using predictive modeling in historical data to make their estimates.

And while take-offs aboard the Gulfstream 4 aircraft are smooth, once they enter a hurricane it's intense, and the flights last for eight hours.

But the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday evening that the storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to the Carolinas as it approaches the coast Thursday and Friday.

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

By Saturday, total rainfall could accumulate to 30 inches (76 centimeters) - or even 40 inches in places - in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the NHC said. Isaac could bring heavy rainfall to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

While many coastal residents heeded mandatory evacuation orders, others boarded up homes and businesses and chose to fearless the storm, which is forecast to trigger severe flash flooding as it dumps as many as three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas.

Hurricane Helene is moving north, where it's expected to become a tropical storm on Thursday.

Steering currents - around clear weather high-pressure systems and stormy low-pressure systems - redirect hurricanes, with the clear weather systems acting as walls that storms have to go around.

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