'It Wants to Get Stronger': NOAA Hurricane Hunter Flies into Florence

'This is a big storm': Results could be catastrophic

'This is a big storm': Results could be catastrophic

Enough rain could fall to break North Carolina's record for a tropical storm - 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Service's national prediction center.

"This is no ordinary storm, and people could be without power for a very long time - not days but weeks", Fountain said on a call with reporters, according to Bloomberg.

Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying.

He warned residents to take precautions "because once this storm is upon us, we're not going to be able to send emergency personnel out to rescue you". As it turns into southern SC. This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend.

As of Wednesday morning, 20 eastern North Carolina counties were under either a mandatory or voluntary evacuation, or some combination of the two, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety. A lot of people hearing this are remembering Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Although Carolina coastlines will be met with storm surges, out in the open ocean Florence is producing rather terrifying waves.

It is predicted to stall even more off the coast of the Carolinas before scraping down the U.S. east coast and moving inland before the weekend. The last Category 4 hurricane to plow directly into North Carolina was Hazel in 1954, a devastating storm that killed 19 people and destroyed some 15,000 homes.

Stronger, rainier, and more damaging hurricanes have always been predicted as a effect of climate change.

The monster storm showed signs of slowing down as it inched closer to the USA, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Residents prepared by boarding up their homes and stocking up on food, water and other essentials, stripping grocery store shelves of merchandise. A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said. Many gasoline stations were running low on fuel.

Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over much of North Carolina and parts of SC, with as much as 30 inches in some places. "What is flooding going to do to our home, our city?"

"This will have a storm surge in the 20-foot range", Myers said.

"Where alse can we go?"

As the trough moves east, it will disrupt the winds that steer the hurricane, Stewart said.

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