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Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with 'disaster at doorstep'

Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with 'disaster at doorstep'

Overnight Tropical Storm Isaac weakened to a depression over the Eastern Caribbean Sea according to the 5:00 am Advisory issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Florence, now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), was previously expected to travel north, up the North Carolina coast, after making landfall, according to the statement. Most of the North and SC coastlines are under storm surge and hurricane warnings or watches.

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Hurricane Florence has changed course, according to the latest weather models.

According to the latest Hurricane Florence satellite images, the massive storm is now heading towards North and SC and Virginia.

Usually when a storm approaches the coast, forecasters can tell with ever-increasing accuracy who will get walloped. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters).

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered.

"We have seen a dramatic shift in the track", Scasny said, adding that big changes to the storm's behavior could emerge within the next two days.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Joyce continues its advance through the southwest Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour, although it does not represent a threat to populated areas.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said.

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"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch", said a spokesperson from the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

As of 11pm local time (4am BST), the storm was centred 280 miles south-east of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving north-west at 17 mph.

Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.

The states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland have all declared states of emergency ahead of Florence.

The storm is not expected to change much in strength before making landfall. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

Nurse Barbara Mack was using a small shovel to fill sandbags at a public works facility in Charleston, but she saw a silver lining in the hurricane preparations.

"But I'm staying", she said.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Florence is being trailed in the Atlantic by two other storms - Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac.


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