Authorities in SC talk Hurricane Florence preparation

Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence which is going to be a 'Mike Tyson punch' to the coast FEMA official warns

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Florence had racked up winds of 130mph and is on a trajectory which suggests its centre is most likely to hit the south coast of North Carolina by Friday.

The hurricane center, in its 5 a.m. Thursday update, said Florence was 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, N.C., moving northwest at 15 mph. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the hurricane center says.

Hurricane Florence is on track to blast the southeastern US coast with ferocious winds and rain, but it may also swamp hog manure pits and coal ash dumps, spreading their toxins; as well as inundate nuclear reactors in the region, according to news reports. But this estimate could shift, and again, the site of landfall is still not determined.

By Sunday, clouds from Florence will increase around here, with rain arriving by Sunday night into Monday. "He lives in North Carolina".

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast, is it time for a radical rethink on what it means to be prepared?

Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference won't make it any less unsafe, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Center discussion.

Massive waves of up to 83 feet were measured inside the storm on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch said, citing satellite altimeter data.

Right now the storm does not have a lot of speed behind it, so the rainfall will likely be extensive along the coastal areas, with historic flooding predicted there.

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Some fluctuations in strength are expected through Thursday morning.

Meteorologist Sandy LaCorte said the 11 a.m. forecast did not change much from the one six hours prior, and that the track takes the risky storm right through the heart of SC.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

The NHC said Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land.

On Wednesday morning, the president urged those in the path of Florence to "get out of its way".

Based on the current forecast track, here is what to expect...

If anyone left out there doubts Florence's sheer capacity to wreak havoc in the coming days, this NOAA satellite image (from former NASA scientist and Professor Marshall Shepherd) should do the convincing.

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".

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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