Hurricane Helen latest: Atlantic storm to spark sunshine across Britain

Video screen capture NASA

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as merely a Category 1 hurricane with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

Experts say the lagoons should be able to handle about 3 feet of rain, but hog farmers, who have been trying to pump manure out of the ponds and spray it on fields as fertilizer, aren't convinced.

The powerful Atlantic storm is resting behind Hurricane Florence which is set to smash into the usa coast.

A camera at the Frying Pan Tower located 34 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina has been livestreaming a view of the Atlantic Ocean since May, and is powering through the storm to dutifully record an American flag over the rising waves.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Morehead City, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h).

Storm surges are caused when huge volumes of water are pushed by hurricane-force winds. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, 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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Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence
Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 miles per hour winds in 1954. Damaging winds could also spread well inland in those states and into Virginia, the hurricane center said .

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Trudeau and his ministers will hold a caucus retreat in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to plot their strategy. Still, "with a bit of flexibility, things could move quickly", the source added.

More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. The worst of the surge amounts predicted along the North Carolina coastline are 9-13 feet above ground, Feltgen said. But previous research has shown that the strongest hurricanes are getting wetter, more intense and intensifying faster because of human-caused climate change.

Storm surge is deadly.

The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place".

Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned the danger was not only along the coast: "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said.

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., September 13, 2018.

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