'Monster' Hurricane Florence Barrels Toward the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast on Sept. 12

Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast on Sept. 12

More than 650,000 customers were without power in the Carolinas as the eye of Florence went ashore near Wilmington and began its slow trek along the coast, according to poweroutage.us.

Small said the precautions have worked in previous hurricanes, but he said he remained wary of the flooding potential from the storm with the same name as his town.

The storm, which fell from category four to category three on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, is expected to strengthen despite it weakening on Wednesday.

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians that Hurricane Florence is a storm that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Forecasters said conditions are still good for Florence, a Category 4 hurricane, to strengthen a little as it moves over very warm waters. This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend.

A hurricane warning for the coast from Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, to the South Santee River, South Carolina.

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Higher sea levels to make a storm surge worse.

Evacuation orders for low-lying areas were issued Monday and continued Tuesday. Michael Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University, calculates that Florence will deduct about $200 million of output a day from North Carolina's $550 billion-a-year economy until business returns to something close to normal.

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company write the most commercial property insurance coverage in North and SC, according to a report on Wednesday by Moody's, citing data from SNL Financial. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land. "People who live in New Bern have experienced hurricanes before, but it has been a long time since we have experienced something like this".

Director Tom Collins says the woman in Hampstead had a heart attack Friday morning, but emergency crews could not get to her because of downed trees in the road.

Deal cited the storm's "forecasted southward track" in a statement declaring a state of emergency. Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

And while take-offs aboard the Gulfstream 4 aircraft are smooth, once they enter a hurricane it's intense, and the flights last for eight hours.

Jeff Byard of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings. "It's called Mother Nature".

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