Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence

The National Hurricane Center said the storm would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC, as well as up to 10 inches (25 cm) in southwestern Virginia.

Florence, though downgraded to a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, remained unsafe and unpredictable, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

By midnight, areas of coastal North Carolina were experiencing life-threatening storm surge, the National Weather Service said.

By Thursday morning, the wind and rain tore the flag down the stripes all the way to the pole. Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges — the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane — as high as 10 feet (3 meters), he said.

Its surge of ocean water could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 4m, and days of downpours could dump more than 1m of rain, touching off severe flooding. Another 8 million people live in areas covered by hurricane and tropical storm warnings. On North Carolina's Outer Banks, water flowed through the streets of Hatteras Village, and some of the few people still left in Nags Head took photos of angry waves topped with white froth.

In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, Hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station. "This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina".

As the last-minute evacuations and preparations of those who refuse to leave wound down, an eerie calm has settled over typically bustling Carolina cities.

High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence
Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall in North Carolina
A tweet from the NWS said the storm would be "a marathon vs. a sprint" as it hovered over the area dumping heavy rainfall. Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.

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With the hurricane beginning to batter North Carolina, the state's Governor has asked US President Donald Trump for another federal disaster declaration beyond what he declared earlier this week.

If your power goes out, you can call to report it at 1-800-PowerOn (1-800-769-3766).

More than 1 million people will likely evacuate from the storm's path in the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the New York Times. Several airlines are allowing customers impacted by the hurricane to book flights again without paying additional fees but some fliers say that does not make finding flights any easier.

"While we expect an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 40 inches of rain, extensive inland flooding and storm surge flooding from Florence, Hurricane Harvey unleashed more than 60 inches of rain locally centered around the United States' fourth largest city, Houston, which has a population of 2.3 million", AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said.

A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at 105 miles per hour (nearly 170 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958. It's moving north, and is expected to turn away from the U.S.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic. The National Weather Center upgraded Subtropical Storm Joyce to Tropical Storm Joyce in its 11 p.m. Thursday update. It's forecast to gradually turn toward the northeast on Friday and then accelerate northeastward over the weekend. That system could develop into a tropical depression by Friday.

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