'Once in a lifetime' hurricane weakens, begins lashing eastern US

Clark Diaz
September 16, 2018

"While we are monitoring potential impacts of Hurricane Florence on the District, we remain committed to keeping our residents safe, prepared, and informed", Ms Bowser said in a statement.

The hurricane center described the storm surge as "life-threatening". It is now at Category 1.

Florence is expected to go move slowly as it approaches North and SC, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared past year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000. Officials say people refusing to evacuate could end up alone, drenched and in the dark, as rescue crews won't go out to help in winds above 80 km/h.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".

The Weather Channel reported that about 300,000 have lost power so far.

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Hurricane Florence has only just begun to wreak havoc along the Carolina coastlines, but already people are capturing absolutely shocking footage of the storm surges from the category 2 hurricane. "If I need more gas, I'll just take it out of my vehicle". "But can't replace us, so we made a decision to come here", said the 39-year-old.

As of late Thursday, the hurricane center said Florence was 95 kilometers southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, with top sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour (90 mph).

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out. Floyd produced 24 inches of rain in some parts of the state, while Florence has already dumped about 30 inches in areas around Swansboro. The rainfall will cause prolonged significant river flooding.

Hurricane Florence is fast approaching the border of North and SC.

Hurricane Florence barrels towards the U.S. east coast more than one million have fled their homes in hopes of surviving the potentially deadly storm.

With Hurricane Florence downgraded on Thursday from a Category Four to a Category Two storm, and then once again, around fifty people left the evacuation shelter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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At the nearby Arthur Christian Church, Booker reports, about twenty people were praying together as the storm barreled toward the Carolinas. Georgia, where governor Nathan Deal has now declared an emergency, is also thought to be in the firing line. Duke Energy, a local power company, estimated that up to three million customers could lose their supply as a result of Florence.

"This is a very unsafe storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, and a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain, authorities said.

In Wilmington, residents who had decided not to evacuate were lining up to get ice from a vending machine - $2 for a 16-pound (7.2-kilo) bag.

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

"I built this house myself, so I'm not anxious at all, I know it's solid", he said.

"I have video games, board games, movies, if we still have power", he tells McCammon.

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