Hurricane Florence would deliver a "direct hit" to the US East Coast, emergency officials warned on Tuesday, urging residents to heed evacuation orders and seek shelter from the potentially catastrophic storm.
As powerful Hurricane Florence crept closer to the southeastern United States on Tuesday, farmers in North Carolina rushed to harvest corn and tobacco and stock up on pig rations, while the danger of deadly flooding threatened a state where millions of farm animals are housed. "Wherever you live in North Carolina, you need to get ready for this storm now and you need to evacuate if asked to".
As of the 5am update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is still a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and gusts 160-170 miles per hour.
The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm enough to produce tropical cyclones.
If the storm tracks further west than anticipated, weather along the Cumberland Plateau could turn "a bit more showery and breezy", the NWS said, "but for now things are looking pretty good for the Mid-State".
"Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches with isolated maximum to 30 inches near Florence's track over portions of North Carolina, Virginia, and northern SC through Saturday", says the National Hurricane Center.
If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky conditions.
"It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented". "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said.More news: Former President Obama delivers speech at University of IL
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"First and foremost, our thoughts are with everyone who may be affected by this storm", UCF athletic director Danny White said in a statement.
As South Carolina residents and emergency responders prepare for Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina National Guard has mobilized about 1,600 soldiers and airmen to prepare, respond and participate in advance of the major hurricane projected to make landfall near the Carolinas. By Monday, it was evident that the worst-case-scenario was becoming reality, as Florence exploded in strength from a Category 2 hurricane to a Category 4 storm with winds in excess of 130 miles per hour.
The storm is expected to stall over North Carolina, slowly making its way across the state and into southwestern Virginia. Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different.
Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and on its current path the eye of the storm will pass near Wilmington and the southern beach towns.
Sailors cast off mooring lines to the Command hospital ship USNS Comfort as the ship evacuates Naval Station Norfolk in preparation for Hurricane Florence in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2018.
"We are sparing no expense".
According to the NHC, tropical-storm-force winds could arrive on the US East Coast late Wednesday earliest.
Hurricane Florence isn't the only storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean. "If we try to leave, we'll just get stuck in the rain", she said. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.