Final calls to evacuate as Florence buffets US East Coast

Final calls to evacuate as Florence buffets US East Coast

Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the United States, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas. "It's something we haven't seen. ever".

Florence is located about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles from Florence's center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles.

Richmond has moved its scheduled home football game this week against St. Francis to the Red Flash's field in Pennsylvania because of Hurricane Florence. Its new path indicates that after arriving in the area near Wilmington, North Carolina, the storm will dip to the south before resuming a western course, the FWS explained in the statement. Areas from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout face a potential 9 to 13 feet of storm surge, the National Hurricane Center warns, on top of the normal tides.

By midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington.

A National Weather Service forecaster has said it will be the "storm of a lifetime" for parts of the Carolina coast. Meacham says the state can house more than 35,000 people if needed.

Images captured by Associated Press journalists show the angst of evacuation and solitary beachgoers finding moments of calm before the storm.

"Don't relax, don't get complacent".

In addition to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, five military bases and half a dozen nuclear power plants are also in the path of the storm. Today the threat becomes a reality, " he said.

Florence will bring large rainfall totals through Saturday in North Carolina, north SC and Virginia, causing catastrophic flash flooding.

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"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount of rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.

Isaac became the fifth hurricane of the season late Sunday and was initially expected to strengthen, potentially becoming a Cat 2 storm with 100 miles per hour winds, as it crossed warm ocean waters. "So Florence is kind of spreading out, becoming a much larger, more stable hurricane".

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate - but the window to do so in nearly over.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. The two hardware chains said they had sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help deal with what could be weeks of power outages in the aftermath, the company said. Favorable wind patterns. Higher sea levels that exacerbate storm surge. As the storm moves inland it will find a relatively flat area for hundreds of miles.

"But I'm staying", she said. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

The zone where these intense winds occur will be narrow and they will last just a few hours, but the effects will probably be severe, similar to a tornado.

Latest reports have the center of Florence approaching the coasts of North and SC on Thursday.

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