Time nearly up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast

Time nearly up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast

Time nearly up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast

Hurricane Florence is moving closer to the coast of North and SC, where it is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Thursday.

The storm was about 235 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and was moving at about 17 mph on Thursday morning. "A NOAA buoy located about 80 miles (130 km) south of the center of Florence has recently reported sustained winds of 52 km (83 km/h) with a gust to 64 mph (104 km/h)".

The "once-in-a-lifetime" storm was due to hit the coast of the southeastern U.S. tomorrow, bringing winds of up to 130mph and causing a sea surge of as much as 13 feet.

"We have a duty to everybody here in the city and we take that very seriously", Vest said.

Florence is also expected to lose speed and "hover" once it reaches the coast, which will intensify the impacts of its heavy rainfall and storm surges, Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), said in a Facebook Live update earlier today.

At the time of this writing, Florence is moving toward the eastern United States at 15 miles per hour (24 km/h) with a decrease in forward speed. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC.

The wide storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday and forecasters expect it to weaken further as it nears the shore.

Officers in New Hanover Country, Wilmington, North Carolina, stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 emergency tarpaulin shelters.

Some forecasters have predicted it could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the region. Yesterday officials in Beaufort County, home to Hilton Head Island, held a news conference and urged people to leave voluntarily.

The storm will slow down because of pushback from a trough - an extended area of low atmospheric pressure - now over Texas, Stacy Stewart, an NHC senior hurricane specialist, said in the update.

Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for the state of Georgia: "in light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall".

TRACKING FLORENCE: Stay with The Weather Network online and on T.V. for our exclusive coverage of the storm. And if local officials recommend evacuation, evacuate immediately.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help deal with what could be weeks of power outages in the aftermath, the company said.

SC authorities have turned four motorways into one-way routes away from the coast to speed the exodus. "It wants to get stronger", he said of the storm. It is expected to make landfall Thursday morning.

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