Hurricane Florence DOWNGRADED to Category 1 as it continues path of DESTRUCTION

Olive Hawkins
September 15, 2018

Tens of thousands were without power.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia and the USA capital Washington. Heavy rainfall began after dark.

The NHC said in its 2 p.m. ET update that Florence is now a Category 2 storm, but it noted that the storm is quite large in diameter.

But with the game canceled, Colgate said it will provide those rooms and meals to those displaced by the storm.

By late Thursday, people were, for better or for worse, locked into their decision: go or stay. Exactly how bad the storm surge will be with Hurricane Florence remains to be seen, but meteorologists for NBC News are predicting that it could be up to 13 feet-and that is higher than Hurricane Maria, which brought a storm surge of around nine feet to parts of Puerto Rico.

Florence remained a serious threat, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 miles-an-hour Thursday afternoon with hurricane force winds extending 80 miles from the center.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Still, a storm surge can overwhelm the animals, as it did in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel killed five horses and swept three others a few miles away.

More than 10 million people are under watches and warnings, the Associated Press reported. The Sumter resident weathered Hugo, and she said the first thing people have on their minds when they arrive at the shelter is what their house and belongings will be like when they return home.

Florence is widely seen as a test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), whose capabilities were stretched thin a year ago as it responded to three major hurricanes.

NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 2 miles (3 km).

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Forecasters and politicians pleaded with the public to take the warnings seriously and minced no words in describing the threat. After that point, it would be hard for people in the storm's path to either finish preparations or flee affected areas.

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Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC . Communities could lose electricity for weeks, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said.

Thankfully, a large high pressure center will keep us safe from Florence over the weekend here in New England.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year. In some counties, almost 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line.

South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter. "Because it's Mother Nature".

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina. That is enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.

It's unclear exactly how many people fled ahead of the storm, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

In the tiny community of Sea Breeze near Wilmington, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptized because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" later.

His proposals preceded a storm that is expected to bring severe damage to the state's coast.

Like many other officials in the storm's path, South Carolina's McMaster said no one will be able to save at-risk residents if they choose to ride out the storm.

Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

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