"Once In A Lifetime" Hurricane Florence Weakens, Begins Lashing Eastern US

City Of Hickory Prepares For Impact From Hurricane Florence

"Once In A Lifetime" Hurricane Florence Weakens, Begins Lashing Eastern US

Describing Hurricane Florence as "a no-kidding nightmare" is certainly appropriate, with Gerst warning Americans on the East Coast to prepare for the storm's arrival.

The biggest danger to life could be from storm surges, which are still predicted to be as high as 13ft (4m) between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

According to Storyful, the video was shot at the Fish Heads Bar & Grill pier in Nags Head. It's expected to make landfall later today.

Although the storm is approaching the USA coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.

Ken Graham, director of the hurricane center, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 3 kilometers (2 miles).

The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain.

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 100 miles per hour (155 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

Florence, which is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast later this week and turn slowly left, weakened Wednesday night as it continued toward the coastal Carolina areas, reported the National Hurricane Center.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

Mr Cooper's office said the current emergency declaration was helping state officials prepare for the storm.

Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

The storm tide is how much water rises due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide (which is the normal tide that goes in an out due to gravitational effects).

"Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week".

The National Hurricane Center says the Neuse River near the city is recording more than 10 feet (3.05 meters) of inundation.

Just before 5am ET (10am BST) the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the eye of the storm was about to make landfall in North Carolina as hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated.

"It doesn't matter where you are", he said.

He said hurricane-force winds extended outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 200 miles out.

AccuWeather expert commented on the storm, stating: "Strength, track and forward speed of Florence will be the major players in determining the scope and amount of rainfall and correspondingly the severity of inland flooding". It could take several weeks to restore electricity. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh.

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