Parts the eastern seaboard of the United States will be deluged with 40 inches of rain and suffer a "Mike Tyson punch" from Hurricane Florence, emergency planners warned today. "T$3 his is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".
The category 4 storm carrying maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h would probably strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The biggest risks from Hurricane Florence may not come from wind, but from the associated rainfall.
An image taken by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean, approaching the Carolinas on September 12, 2018.
Hurricane Florence, growing in size despite its weakening winds, churned ever closer to the US East Coast on Wednesday as evacuations expanded south from the Carolinas into Georgia to counter the threat of deadly high seas and calamitous floods.
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Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (one meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC.
"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen", Trump said.
As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.
"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the country's Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Hurricane Florence had weakened late Wednesday night to a category 2 storm, but was still barreling toward the Carolinas, where it is expected to make landfall on Friday or Saturday, according to the hurricane center.
3 million could lose power when Hurricane Florence hits
Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina , Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave. Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.
Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the U.S., said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.
But in order to make sure that they have enough resources for a potential surge of patients, doctors have been making rounds all week to determine which patients are stable enough to be discharged home so they can evacuate with friends and family instead of being in the hospital during the hurricane, spokesman Brian DeRoy said.
In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children.
Data collected during the flight allows the NOAA to keep a watchful eye on the most powerful storm to date in the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, to research its speed, intensity and structure.
No storm watches or warnings are in effect for Georgia. But forecasters say there's an increased chance for tropical storm winds to reach Savannah. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
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