Florence Shifts, Taking Southerly Route Closer To Charlotte

NASA shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean seen from the International Space Station, in space on Sept. 10 2018

Hurricane warnings have been issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) for portions of SC and North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, according to the agency's 5 p.m. update on September 11.

Hurricane Florence, now a Category 4, is on track to hit the U.S. East Coast early Thursday.

The hurricane is about 470 miles (755km) east-southeast of Myrtle beach, SC with maximum sustained winds of 125mph (205km/h). It was a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour or higher.

The National Hurricane Center says it's now expected to hit Wilmington and then veer west, taking it south of Charlotte.

Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that it would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas". Even from a distance, Florence is expected to bring more sustained easterly winds to the region.

Officials say Hurricane Florence is likely to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border.

North Carolina and SC have issued evacuations in their states as they prepare for the most powerful storm.

Some areas could get deluged with 20 inches of rain, Myers said.

While many coastal residents heeded mandatory evacuation orders, others boarded up homes and businesses and chose to fearless the storm, which is forecast to trigger severe flash flooding as it dumps as many as three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas. The storm is now about 950 miles from the Carolina coast line, but moving in that direction at about 15 mph. He underlined the point that even if you call 911, there is a chance rescue services may not be able to get to you.

Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. "There will be flooding in inland areas as well".

Shepard Smith and Flaherty said reports showed storm surge from the system is likely to be felt dozens of miles inland, including along the Neuse River Basin - which stretches inward from New Bern toward Rocky Mount and Nashville, N.C.

Michael Kennedy, an engineer at Boeing, said he planned to leave on Tuesday for his parents' home in Atlanta, Georgia. Winds from the east have been causing coastal flooding this week along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, with high tides as much as 2 feet above normal in Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Mary's counties. So as you can see, they're forecasting a major landfalling storm - Category 3 or 4 storm at landfall.

SC authorities have turned four motorways into one-way routes away from the coast to speed the exodus.

"I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain", said Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired real estate agent who has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane.

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