Hurricane Florence looms over East Coast — WHAT'S HAPPENING



Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, triggering unsafe flooding, toppling trees, cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses while causing at least five deaths.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. Thursday update that Florence had weakened to a Category 1 storm.

In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000.

"Typically, we see a stimulus effect that creates jobs and raises incomes for South Carolinians", said Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist at the University of SC. Every coastal city along the Gulf or East Coast of the US is at risk of storm surge, the hurricane center said.

The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.

Early on Thursday, the storm was centred 235 miles east-south-east of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving north-west at 17mph.

"This possibility could bring prolonged hurricane-force winds and storm surge throughout Saturday and Sunday, to coastal areas along North and SC, and significant inland flooding to whole region", RMS said. "Florence will then recurve across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week".

Usually when a storm approaches the coast, forecasters can tell with ever increasing accuracy where it will hit and who will get walloped. Favorable wind patterns. Higher sea levels that exacerbate storm surge.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

"There is going to be a lot of rain".

"Bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size", Trump said in a video released Wednesday. "Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said.

More than 440,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC yesterday, utility officials said. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding in Virginia and the Carolinas.

One of North Carolina's chief power utilities is warning citizens that Hurricane Florence's strong winds and torrential rain could knock out power for much longer than a typical storm. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Doesn't sound like a weak hurricane, does it?

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH tourists Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

The full impact of the storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

"Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread inland across the remainder of the warning area through Saturday", the NHC said.

Aside from safety concerns, Atlantic Coast Conference schools face scheduling obstacles, monetary implications and bowl considerations. Tropical Storm Olivia has made landfall in the Hawaiian islands, the Philippines are bracing for the powerful typhoon Mangkhut, and Tropical Storm Isaac is nearing the Leeward Islands.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

Just days before projected landfall, Hurricane Florence is sending residents of the Carolina coast racing for cover. His remarks fell flat in Puerto Rico where islanders are continuing to struggle to recover a year after the Category 4 storm.

Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle N.C., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

Trump has called the investigation into Russian efforts to sway the 2016 USA election a "witch hunt" and once sided with Russia in its denials of any such meddling.

Names are only retired "if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate", according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration website.

Analysts expect a temporary boost in gasoline demand as people flee Florence, followed by weaker demand during and immediately after the storm.

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico. The NHC is encouraging officials in northeastern Mexico, Texas and Louisiana to monitor its progress.

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