Surge, wind, rain, floods: Hurricane Florence could hit hard

\'Life-Threatening\' Hurricane Florence Now Forecast to Bring \'Catastrophic\' Flooding

\'Life-Threatening\' Hurricane Florence Now Forecast to Bring \'Catastrophic\' Flooding

Florence, a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 miles per hour (210 kph), was expected to make landfall on Friday, bringing heavy, sustained rain and potentially deadly flooding to the U.S. Southeast coast. He also canceled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm. "Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday evening.

He says the peanut crop could use some rain after a very dry August, but certainly doesn't need the amount of moisture Florence is expected to deliver.

But while wind speed offers an easily quantifiable way to rate risky storms, forecasters are warning people not to fixate on that, saying that saltwater from the storm surge and freshwater from heavy rains pose a serious threat, no matter what the top winds are when the hurricane makes landfall.

The storm is now 845 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The very centre of Florence's bullseye may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base. The National Weather Service's Morristown office said Monday that three-to-four inches of rain are possible in upper East Tennessee, around the Tri-Cities, as a result of the hurricane.

The last Category 4 hurricane to plough directly into North Carolina was Hazel in 1954, a devastating storm that killed 19 people and destroyed some 15,000 homes. The initial damage is likely due come from the high winds and storm surge-high tides carried by the winds--and then by the huge soaking it will likely leave in both North and SC, as well as Virginia, as it moves slowly inland. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.

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'We continue to urge all South Carolinians to listen to the information from emergency personnel and to not take this storm lightly.

A hurricane watch is now in effect from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to the southern border of Virginia.

Authorities are warning about Florence's potential to unleash prolonged torrential rains and life-threatening floods, down trees, knock out electricity and submerge entire communities - especially if it slows to a crawl and lingers inland for several days, just as Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas in 2017.

Mr Graham warned that the "staggering" size of the storm means its impacts will be felt far and wide.

Airlines including American, Southwest, Delta and JetBlue are letting affected passengers change travel plans without the usual fees.

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On Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center tweeted out predictions for maximum wind gusts that showed Jacksonville, Emerald Isle and North Topsail Beach could see gusts from 125 to 144 miles per hour as the storm moves ashore.

North Carolina has waived transportation rules to help farmers move crops and livestock ahead of the most severe storm to threaten the US mainland this year.

Although the maximum sustained winds of Florence had decreased, re-strengthening is forecast "and Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricanethrough Thursday night", the hurricane center said.

The decision brings the total to three games involving ranked teams that won't be played this weekend due to the Category 4 storm.

Hurricane Isaac is expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northwards into the open ocean as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak. Another four million people are under a tropical storm watch.

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