Hurricane Florence Loses Steam, but Shifting Forecast Predicts Huge Rainfall

Hurricane Florence Loses Steam, but Shifting Forecast Predicts Huge Rainfall

But the record of life-threatening storms could be soon broke as a new one seems to be quickly developing in the same water basin.

Florence's sustained winds were 165 km/h, with gusts up to 204 km/h on Thursday afternoon.

The storm's winds may have weakened in recent days - they are now at 110mph (175km/h) - but there are fears Florence's slow-moving nature could bring different problems. Catastrophic river flooding and flash flooding will occur for a large portion of eastern North and SC. The ground is saturated with water and unlikely able to withstand the heavy, persistent rains that are expected.

People in North Carolina and SC have the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm. Most other beachgoers were long gone.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, there are 5.25 million residents in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places under tropical storm warnings or watches.

Torrential rains brought about significant flooding in some areas, with the rains expected to continue over Oahu through Thursday. However, the remnants of Florence may get drawn into a cold frontal passage early next week. And to put things in perspective, the eye of the storm is as big as the city of Toronto.

As the storm continues to track toward western North Carolina and upstate SC, heavy rains in the mountains could trigger mudslides due to the region's topography, Cline added.

Despite the potentially devastating hurricane being downgraded to category two on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, the governor of Georgia has joined his counterparts in Virginia and the Carolinas in declaring a state of emergency.

A hurricane warning was issued for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

"It's cumulative damage", Myers said. "Even though [Florence] has weakened, it is no less unsafe than it was yesterday".

Wind approaches outer banks of North Carolina
The area is under tropical storm and flash flood watches into the weekend. "You have a double whammy in the flooding", he said. National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts.

Conditions will deteriorate through Thursday (local time): Starting along the coast, winds will accelerate, the rain will intensify, and the ocean will surge ashore.

Over a period of 24 hours, it will move about 100 miles, or less, Eliasen explained.

Kourounis and Robinson have seen their share of hurricanes, many of them together.

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation?

This is when Hurricane Florence is expected to be closest to us.

Long said the danger was not only along the coast. Thinking of the outages likely to come, it also warns to use grills and generators outside - away from doors and windows.

Terrifying as the situation is (I am regularly checking on my folks, who abandoned Charleston for the highlands of North Carolina), there is a silver lining. The area will suffer far beyond the immediate effects expected. Toronto saw widespread flooding twice this year when 50 mm of rain dropped in a few minutes.

Gargantuan waves towering up to 83 feet were crashing within Hurricane Florence's sprawling reach early Wednesday as the Category 4 monster continued its ominous advance on the East Coast, experts said. It's a game of wait and see.

In the tiny community of Sea Breeze near Wilmington, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptized because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" later. "But it's been an intensity emotional rollercoaster".

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