Hurricane Florence Approaches Carolinas as Wind Speeds Reach 150 miles per hour

Hurricane Florence Approaches Carolinas as Wind Speeds Reach 150 miles per hour

More than 1.5 million people have been asked to evacuate their homes along the Virginia, North and SC coasts as Category 5 storm Hurricane Florence approaches, an official said.

To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients-warmer than normal sea temperatures; a wind pattern that allows a storm to get strong and stay strong; higher sea levels; and a storm covering an enormous area-and Florence has them all. The video was taken on Tuesday as Florence churned across the Atlantic in a west-northwesterly direction with winds of 130 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Centre said it was a potentially catastrophic Category-4 storm, but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour or higher.

Several Horry County area communities are enacting ocean bans and curfews as Hurricane Florence moves closer to making landfall.

Meteorologists are warning of potentially catastrophic flooding in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches of rain expected in parts of SC. There are 5.25 million people under hurricane warnings and watches and another 4.89 million under tropical storm watches and warnings. It is an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane.

As of 11am local time (3am NZT), Florence, a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm, was centred 785 kilometres southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving at 24kmh.

The area could be subject to life-threatening flooding caused by Hurricane Florence despite lowered rainfall projections, according to the National Weather Service.

Gov. Nathan Deal isn't taking any chances with Hurricane Florence.

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"We will experience power outages, we will have infrastructure damaged, there will be homes damaged, and there will be debris on the roads", said Jeff Byard, an official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Florence is the most risky of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

Because Hurricane Florence is so unbelievably massive, astronauts had to use a super wide-angle lens to capture photographs of the monstrous storm from space.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

"A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in retail demand".

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

The major airlines out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are bracing for Florence's impact on the east coast. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland.

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