Hurricane Florence may hit North Carolina

Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This

According to the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. Tuesday update, Isaac has weakened somewhat in the previous 24 hours and is now expected to enter the Caribbean Thursday evening as a tropical storm, rather than a hurricane.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing North Carolina would see the equivalent of up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period.

"With Hurricane Florence, a lot of our line and equipment will be underwater".

If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

A high-surf advisory is issued when breaking wave action poses or is expected to pose a threat to life and property within the surf zone. "We just want prayers from everyone".

Jeff Byard, who is the FEMA associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, said that Florence is "a very risky storm", Fox News reported.

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water.

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Storm surge watches and warnings are separated from hurricane alerts because hurricane-force winds and storm surges don't always occur at the same place or the same time, said Rick Knabb, the former director of the hurricane center, and now the hurricane expert at the Weather Channel.

People in areas vulnerable to the risky hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm.

With flood waters advancing rapidly in many communities, around 50 stranded people had been airlifted out by helicopter in North Carolina, said Petty Officer Michael Himes of the U.S. Coast Guard.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm. The forecast "cone of uncertainty" shows that Florence might severely affect the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee by Monday.

As of Wednesday night, Florence's tropical storm force winds were almost 400 miles wide - or the roughly the equivalent of driving from Washington, D.C, to Charlotte, North Carolina; or from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to St. Louis; or from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered.

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