Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 2 as storm takes aim at Southeast

View of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station

As Americans in North and SC begin to feel the effects of Hurricane Florence, The Weather Channel has reminded viewers of how risky storm surges can be.

The Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph is expected to produce 20 to 30 inches of rain in the coast North Carolina area, and 5 to 10 inches in western SC and northern North Carolina, per the National Weather Service.

That's because the weather systems that usually push and pull a storm are disappearing as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter.

Wilmington resident Julie Terrell said she was concerned after walking to breakfast past a row of shops fortified with boards, sandbags and hurricane shutters. "Because it's Mother Nature".

Isha Renta, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office, said while the forecast may look humdrum for the region, "we can not discount" the storm.

"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective", University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said.

Though the county is not under a hurricane watch, Tanner said storm predictions were concerning local officials.

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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The first severe winds from Hurricane Florence are still expected to hit the Wilmington area around Thursday at 2 p.m., with the eye striking the Wilmington area on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., according to most recent update from the National Weather Service (NWS); you can read the most recent NWS update here.

"If you find yourself here [in rising floodwaters], you need to get out", she said.

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together".

One electricity company fears that three-quarters of its four million customers will lose power as a result of the storm, and may not be reconnected for weeks.

ADCIRC predicts Florence's winds will cause 9 to 13 feet of storm surge in some areas along the North Carolina coast.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm. When they meet land, the water surges inshore at levels far exceeding normal tides.

Overall, Florence is about 644 kilometres wide (400 miles). "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place". "I've got four cats inside the house".

Wild horses in the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, North Carolina will fend for themselves during Hurricane Florence.

Authorities pushed back against any suggestion the storm's threat was exaggerated.

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