White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

The latest forecasts show the storm lingering near the coast and bringing intense inland flooding from SC, where some areas could see as much as 40 inches (1m) of rain, to Virginia.

At 11:00 am (1600 GMT), the eye of the storm was about 485 miles (785 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving in a northwest direction at 15 mph (24 kph).

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

"If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., said, "and that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew".

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company write the most commercial property insurance coverage in North and SC, according to a report on Wednesday by Moody's, citing data from SNL Financial.

In Columbia, South Carolina, Barry Sparks, a 66-year-old retiree, was thinking of getting out after the path of the storm shifted somewhat to the south. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour. "Now it might be time for the exam", Baxley said late in the morning.


A view of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station.

Deal cited the storm's "forecasted southward track" in a statement declaring a state of emergency. Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

Florence is now heading for ocean water that has surface temperatures of about 85 degrees, meaning it will most likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

"So right now, we're thinking it's going to be tropical-storm-force conditions for the Beaufort area, but I would not rule out the potential for hurricane force winds or hurricane force conditions for Beaufort County".

To back up that point, Graham cited a sobering statistic: "50 percent of the fatalities in these tropical systems is the storm surge - and that's not just along the coast". "The rain may last for days, and not hours".

"This is not going to be a tropical storm ... this is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for FEMA's Office of Response and Recovery, said on Wednesday.

"Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different".

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