Flooding, Wind Threat Remains As Florence Closes In

Head Coach Dan Hunt with Colgate University

At their highest, storm surges will advance well into the land of North Carolina, with heights of 9-13 ft from Cape Fear NC to Cape Lookout NC.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

More than 10 million people are under watches and warnings, the Associated Press reported. Florence remains a strong, healthy hurricane producing potentially damaging wind gusts and heavy rain. "This is low tide, and it looks like high tide", she said.

"Your time to get out of those areas in storm surge inundation is coming to a close". There is also the threat of life-threatening storm surge along the coastlines and rivers that feed out to the ocean from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but reconsidered due to its ferocity.

Florence was downgraded overnight to a category one hurricane - with 90mph (145kmh) winds - but forecasters have warned that conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore in the early hours of Friday morning. "There is overwash but nothing we are not used to", she said. Do not let Florence dropping from a category 4 down to a 2 fool you in to thinking the threat of impactful weather is going away.

While wind speeds dropped Thursday, forecasters reminded people that what makes Florence extremely risky are the potentially deadly storm surges, the expected mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall.

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"Don't relax", Cooper said on Thursday. This is a powerful storm that can kill. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said. Florence, a storm expected to significantly impact the U.S. "This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina".

Hurricane Florence is not expected to bring any rain to the Savannah area, as of the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

A gunman killed five people, including his wife, before turning the gun on himself as a Kern County sheriff's deputy closed on September 12, authorities said. "This is not one that's going to hit the coast and pass through quickly".

"This is a very risky storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground. "And remember this, once these winds start blowing.it will be virtually impossible for the rescuers to get in to rescue you". As of Thursday afternoon the storm was generating sustained winds of 105mph, as storm surge water has begun to rush into homes and streets along beachside communities.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year.

Long urged patience and warned that it would take time to recover from Florence.

Ken Graham, the director of the NHC, said: "It truly is really about the whole size of this storm". "We call them disasters because they break things".

"We'll operate without power; we have candles".

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