Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Florence's rain bands lash Carolinas — WHAT'S HAPPENING

Florence's rain bands lash Carolinas — WHAT'S HAPPENING

A flawless storm of unfortunate circumstances means Florence will likely be catastrophic for parts of the Southeast.

THE life-threatening hurricane, Florence, is expected to hover the Carolinas in the United States with torrential rains, high winds and massive coastal erosion.

The Carolinas will likely bear the brunt of Florence's wrath.

The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.

Forecasters say it is now moving into eastern SC, crawling along at just 3mph (4.8km/h). Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday.

Here is the newest information on Tropical Storm Florence as it lands on the East Coast.

It is now a tropical storm with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), but a gust of 112 miles per hour (180 kph) was reported just offshore.

Services and flights have been suspended on Thursday and Friday at Wilmington International Airport on North Carolina's coast.

"There is going to be a lot of rain".

"We're on the wrong side of this storm". Massive rainfall is predicted, with totals of 20-30in (50-76cm) in coastal areas of the Carolinas and up to 40in in isolated areas.

Numerous roads were closed, and authorities warned of the risk of landslides, tornadoes and flash floods, with dams and bridges in peril as rivers and creeks swelled. Areas further from the coast could see 6-12in of rain. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical storm force winds up to 195 miles. Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages. More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

In Shallotte, N.C., a coastal town near the border with SC, emergency orders forced a Waffle House to shut down - an act that was widely seen as a sign of respect for Florence's imposing size and strength. Tropical storm-force winds are forecast to hit the Carolinas Thursday evening, according to Business Insider.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC. The storm surge could reach up to more than 3.9m, if the maximum surge coincides with high tide. It marks the beginning of a prolonged assault from wind and water, which - by the time it's over - is likely to bring devastating damage and flooding to millions of people in the Southeast.

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

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. The storm's 12-mph speed Thursday morning was a marked drop from Wednesday's 17-mph speeds.

Cooper also announced there are 2,800 National Guard troops in different staging areas of North Carolina.

Flooding from both the storm surge and rainfall could be "catastrophic", the National Hurricane Center warned.

The stall is something coastal communities in the USA have seen before.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Florence packs sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Joyce, which is about 1,040 miles from the Azores, is moving south-southwest near 7 mph.

Winds will ramp up today, stay strong through Friday, then slowly relax through the weekend.

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind does.

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