The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence

Anna Moneymaker

She has waded through her fair share of flood waters and withstood several hurricanes but decided that Florence would not be her next.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

The Hurricane Center forecasts that Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday. It's moving toward the coast at a speed of 12mph.

Normally when we talk about the potential for hurricane damage, we talk about the impact of storm surges and high winds - both of which are, to be sure, incredibly risky in their own right.

Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Mountain Time, somewhere between Atlantic Beach, NC and Savannah, GA.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

The result: catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

When will Hurricane Florence hit? The winds may be down a bit, but the one-two intense punches that we are expecting are still there.

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. "Don't play games with it".

SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area.

With a diameter of more than 600 miles, Florence is now bigger than both Carolinas and will have widespread impacts from heavy rain across two states.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centres to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. As of 10:30 p.m. ET, more than 140,000customers along the coast were without power, according to outage maps from Duke Energy and the N.C.

"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way, especially for people that we've already told to evacuate", Wrightsville Beach police chief Dan House said.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

Hurricane Florence pushes its way towards the Carolinas coast.

Where exactly the zone of heaviest rain sets up as the storm meanders inland is more uncertain, but models suggest that it may concentrate in southern North Carolina and northern SC through the weekend. "It is imperative that everyone follow local evacuation orders".

Governor Cooper said the hurricane was likely to "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

-Intensity: maximum sustained winds at 105 miles per hour, down from a peak of 140 miles per hour but still extremely risky. The worst of the storm will likely last into Monday for Charlotte before what's left of Florence will move to the north and west. "If you're blowing 100 or 120 miles per hour on homes, they're going to start to deteriorate". "We've just never seen anything like this". Three other Southern raceways also opened campgrounds to evacuees. We have to remember, Florence is a very large storm.

Latest News