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Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power

Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been put under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders to avoid what emergency officials called a "once in a lifetime" storm.

Most of the damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in North Carolina came from inland flooding - 31 people died and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed.

The maximum sustained winds had dropped to 100 mph, but tropical-force winds extended up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

At 11:00 am (1600 GMT), the eye of the storm was about 485 miles (785 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving in a northwest direction at 15 mph (24 kph).

The effects of Hurricane Florence have already arrived on the East Coast of the United States, where massive floods have already begun and as much asthe National Hurricane Center forecasts 40 inches of rain and 11 feet of flooding from the storm surge.

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

More than 30,000 U.S. retail bank branches - 34% of the country's branch network - are now at risk of facing tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Florence over the coming days, according information compiled by data analytics firm Qlik.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

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NHC director Ken Graham has warned of "staggering" amounts of rainfall which could result in water levels rising to 13 feet in some areas, with rivers more than 35 miles inland possibly bursting their banks.

Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

The head of Duke Energy Corp.'s North Carolina operations says it could take weeks to restore electricity if the company's prediction that 1 million to 3 million of its 4 million customers lose power.

With the brunt of the slow-moving storm yet to come, about 150 people were awaiting rescue in New Bern, a city near the coast, where a gauge on the Neuse River recorded 10 feet (three meters) of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia - as well as the U.S. capital Washington.

"Some say North Carolina is getting a break, but we are on the wrong side of this story", he said. "I'm not leaving him here".

"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way, especially for people that we've already told to evacuate", Wrightsville Beach police chief Dan House said. "I learned from the past to keep the ice in the washing machine".

"The only thing missing in there is a hot lady".


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