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More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Preceded first by the storm surge and the winds, heavy rains were picking up as of late Thursday afternoon, the beginning of an onslaught that for some areas may not relent for days.

Dozens of North Carolina school districts were closed, as well as almost all schools in the University of North Carolina system.

-Intensity: Florence came ashore with top winds of 90 miles per hour (145 kph), below the 111 miles per hour (178 kph) threshold for a "major" hurricane but still extremely risky. That created some confusion and, officials feared, complacency.

"I was really anxious about coming back to Cleveland because of the weather report", said Cheryl Hermsdorfer, a Cleveland area native who managed to book an earlier flight. Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are expected.

Forecasters said wind speeds had dropped from a high of 225 kilometers per hour to 175 kph, reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2 one, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land.

Forecasters predict as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina and storm surges as high as 4 meters - taller than many houses.

"Do not relax, do not get complacent".

Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power. "Today the threat becomes a reality".

TRINIS living in the USA were vigorously preparing themselves for Hurricane Florence which is forecast to make landfall along the eastern coast sometime today.

"This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina".

"This is still a very, very risky storm, not only on the coast but also in the interior of the state", said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, R. "It can still kill you".

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of most of the state's coastline as the storm approaches. He bluntly told people in the evacuation zones to leave quickly, saying: "Time is running out".

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year.

"The storm surge forecast with this storm has not changed", warned Brock Long, the head of FEMA.

Ken Graham, the director of the NHC, said: "It truly is really about the whole size of this storm".

More news: Preparing for Florence: Shoring up, stocking up, evacuating coast

"We're on the wrong side of this thing". "We are going to hunker down and stay safe and not stay in mobiles and we will be OK". "Stay on guard", Cooper said.

A man also died while plugging in a generator in Pender County, and rescue crews were unable to reach a woman who had suffered a heart attack.

Ships including the USS Kearsarge are at sea trailing the storm and will move toward shore to further support emergency response.

"We've seen fatalities and deaths from tropical storms, from Category 1 storms and from Category 2 storms", SCEMD's Becker said.

As Florence drew near, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad. "We are with you!"

CoreLogic noted at the time of its advisory that SC is not included in the table as it is not expected to exceed tropical storm force winds based on the projected track.

The next day, he rescinded the order when it appeared the storm was shifting north. "But can't replace us, so we chose to come here", said the 39-year-old.

"It makes me feel anxious". One moment, it's going to be real bad; next moment, it's slowing down.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded.

US President Donald Trump touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way. In Fayetteville, about 50,000 have lost power and more than 12,000 are still without power in New Bern, which is experiencing severe flooding, according to ElectriCities, the organization that supports the local power agencies.

"We've wasted three days of discomfort and displacement", he said.

That was a bad idea, said Avair Vereen, a local nurse who had sought safety in the shelter with her seven children.

"If I'm wrong, I'll see them on the other side". "It's a getaway to not think about the hurricane".

Some people have chose to simply ride out the storm at home.


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