Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Hurricane Florence to 'bring Mike Tyson punch to Carolina coast'

Hurricane Florence to 'bring Mike Tyson punch to Carolina coast'

Florence's nighttime winds were down to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), and the Category 3 storm fell to a Category 2, with a further slow weakening expected as the storm nears the coast.

The images, captured from249 miles above the storm, captured Florence as it draws close to North Carolina's coast.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the South Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather. Although the latest tracks suggest that the center of the storm will pass to our south, we'll still likely feel some effects as early as Thursday. North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

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

Authorities in neighboring North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County.

The storm could cause a life-threatening storm surge, essentially walls of water, ahead of landfall which is why FEMA warns that Wednesday is the last feasible day to evacuate areas vulnerable to the storm.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters.

In Charleston, South Carolina, streets were quiet with schools and many offices and businesses closed.

Evacuation orders for low-lying areas were issued Monday and continued Tuesday.

Emergency preparations included activating more than 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.

The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rainfall Sunday through Tuesday across central SC with flooding potential in the Upstate, northeast Georgia and the mountains of western North Carolina. In South Carolina and inland parts of North Carolina, 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall, with 20 inches possible in some areas.

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

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

The predicted amount of rainfall that Florence will bring to the southeast. As the hurricane center says, "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday".

Speaking at a news conference, the official said the hurricane was expected to spread out into the Central Appalachian mountains, the Tennessee Valley, and southeastern parts of the U.S. after Saturday.

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch.

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