Florence barreling closer to coast of Carolinas

Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This

Hurricane Florence is churning towards the U.S. east coast, prompting authorities to order more than a million people to evacuate the path of the extremely unsafe storm, which forecasters said could soon intensify.

Of three named tropical systems, Hurricane Florence is by far the most unsafe.

The centre said the storm would dump as much as 40 inches (102 cm) of rain along coastal areas of the Carolinas, as well as up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia.

The centre of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added. The last major hurricane to impact the Carolinas was Hugo in 1989.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's office predicted "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages", cautioning that the deadliest risk would come from flooding. As of Saturday, about 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

Night-time winds were down to 110 miles per hour from a high of 140 miles per hour, and the Category 3 storm fell to a Category 2, with a further slow weakening expected as the storm nears the coast.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.

Forecasters expected some strengthening today, as Florence marches west-north-west at around 13kmh.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

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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.

President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way. Tropical-storm force winds extend outward to 105 miles from the center.

A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Ga., crashes into waves from Hurricane Florence, Wednesday, Sept., 12, 2018, on the south beach of Tybee Island, Ga.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Montserrat, St Kitts, Nevis, Saba and St Eustatius. In Hurricane Sandy in 2012, storm surge-induced flooding measured as high as 9 feet above ground in parts of NY and New Jersey, leading to billions of dollars in damages.

Florence was earlier downgraded from Category 4 to 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind strength. At that time, Isaac will be a strong tropical storm with top winds of 60 miles per hour.

Heavy rain, gusting winds and rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence deluged the Carolinas on Thursday as the massive, slow-moving storm crept toward the coastline, threatening millions of people in its path with record rainfall and punishing surf.

On that path Isaac will move across the central Lesser Antilles and into the Caribbean on Thursday.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. It is expected to turn away from the U.S.

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