The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas

The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas

Tropical Storm Florence continued to dump torrential rainfall on the Carolinas, posing a deadly flooding threat for millions.

Images captured by Associated Press journalists show the angst of evacuation and solitary beachgoers finding moments of calm before the storm.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper urged residents to remain alert despite changing forecasts.

"We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge". "Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill".

At 6 miles per hour, Florence is taking its time making it to shore, but it's already causing life-threatening storm surges and bringing hurricane-force winds to the North Carolina coast. That same area experienced risky flooding after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Hundreds of thousands of people have already evacuated. "Please heed the warnings", Mr Brock said: "Your time is running out".

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's approach said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave. "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths ..." "I've got four cats inside the house".

The National Hurricane Center predicts the hurricane will cause up to 13 feet of storm surge on the East Coast.

The National Hurricane Center, which called these levels "catastrophic", has created a augmented reality tool that helps visualize how severe the storm surge could be.

Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland on Saturday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.

The hurricane, whose strength has been compared to a direct hit by Mike Tyson, advances with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour. Earlier this week, it had been projected to shift north after making landfall. It is expected that the hurricane moves on or near the coastline during the night of Thursday through Friday.

Subtropical Storm Joyce forms in north Atlantic
As the East Coast prepares to take on Hurricane Florence , the massive storm appears to be flexing its muscles in the Atlantic. The storm is projected to shift northeast with an increase in forward speed in the coming days, forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.

"This is a very risky storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground.

"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.

Despite all the warnings from numerous authorities, some residents say are planning to ride out the storm.

"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says. Those heading to Charleston were told to find another destination. It's moving north, and is expected to turn away from the U.S.

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday", the NHC said.

Florence's winds dropped from a peak of 225km/h to 165km/h overnight, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2. But authorities warn Florence has an enormous wind field as it zeroes in on the Southeast U.S. coast, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land and making Florence extremely unsafe.

As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph. The storm's 12-mph speed Thursday morning was a marked drop from Wednesday's 17-mph speeds.

The latest rainfall projections warn of 20-40 inches of rain from coastal North Carolina into northeastern SC - amounts that could bring "catastrophic flash flooding", the hurricane center said.

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