Celebrities Share Well Wishes For Hurricane Florence Victims

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC | New Hampshire

Hurricane Florence weakened late Wednesday night to a Category 2 storm.

Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. More than 1,300 flights along the US East Coast were cancelled through Friday.

Rising water forced a North Carolina TV station to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of Hurricane Florence coverage.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7.15am Eastern US time near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina.

. Footage posted on social media showed a meteorologist saying on air that they had to evacuate.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as Florence began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

Rivers are rising on the north side of Hurricane Florence as the storm swirls counter-clockwise, pushing a surge of ocean water far in from the coast.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimetres).

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend. The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern.

People were tweeting, posting on Facebook and Reddit asking "Is this it?"

The Harford County Humane Society has not taken animals displaced by storms before, but Erin Long, a spokeswoman for the shelter, said her group could try to accept dogs if needed. The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris.

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Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.

And while the intensity of Florence's winds - still in the 90 miles per hour range - have diminished enough to turn it into a Category 1, the storm has grown in size as it crawls off the coast at a plodding 6 miles per hour.

If winds pick up beyond 40 or 50 miles per hour, ravens and eagles will me moved to a holding area, and pink-back pellicans and white-breasted cormorants may be moved to the indoor section of the zoo's Penguin Coast exhibit.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

No area in the United States would be able to easily deal with Hurricane Florence, but the communities in its path this time are more vulnerable than in the past. We know how to manage expectations.

So, what can we tell for certain about what the National Weather Service has called the "storm of a lifetime"?

The hurricane has caused more than 555,000 power outages in North Carolina, with almost 65,000 reported in SC, according to website poweroutage.us.

Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

Hurricane Florence is bigger than the state of North Carolina and four times larger than Ohio.

The rainy summer has already caused some flooding at the zoo, so Kottyan said it has already identified problem areas on the grounds and is taking measures to guard against additional flooding from the hurricane, such as blocking animal stall doors with hay bails.

One Twitter user wrote: "The best kind of infographic is one that is not only completely badass technologically and visually, as this one is, but more importantly it must convey your message clearly". Hurricane Florence's path is hitting many counties where fewer than 5% of people have flood insurance.

Most of the zoo's animal enclosures are designed with holding areas to keep them safe in inclement weather, so although animals will be ushered into those spaces, Kottyan expects to move few of them from their usual homes.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.

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