Hurricane Florence: Four reasons to fear this storm

Hurricane Florence NOAA update

Hurricane Florence NOAA update

Adding to the storm stress is uncertainty about where exactly Florence will make landfall, after a shift in its track put more of the Southeast in danger. That makes sense since the category of a storm is generally determined by its maximum sustained winds; but, researchers have found, the vast majority of deaths (nearly 90%) from hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions between 1963 and 2012 were attributable to "storm surge, rainfall flooding, high surf, and deaths just offshore".

"Little change in strength is expected before the eye of Florence reaches the coast, with slow weakening expected after the center moves inland or meanders near the coast", the advisory said.

"Just because the wind speeds came down and the intensity of this storm came down to a Category 2, please do not let your guard down", Brock Long, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, told reporters Thursday in Washington. "He lives in North Carolina".

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

Air Force General Terrence J O'Shaughnessy, head of US Command, said search and rescue is a top priority but that the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of rescuers.

The storm has slowed considerably and was moving at 5 miles per hour toward the Port City.

While the storm may have slowed down slightly, it will still bring life-threatening storm surges, high winds, massive flooding and power cuts as it makes landfall on the coast of North and SC. Visit our sister site Live Science for the latest Hurricane Florence forecast.

Meanwhile, what could be the world's most unsafe storm at the moment is Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which now has winds of 165 miles per hour (with 200 miles per hour gusts) and is taking aim on the Philippines, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Hurricane Florence is at the doorstep of North and SC, and she's not going away anytime soon. "We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

Weather forecasts estimate that the Category 2 storm could dump 17 trillion gallons of rain on the East Coast.

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence yesterday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swathe of the U.S. south-east.

"When combined with sea level rises and increased storm surges, an increasingly large number of properties face greater risk than exists now". Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, the utility warned.

But Florence will still bring gusts that are much more powerful. "We're forecasting 30 inches of rainfall". The area will suffer far beyond the immediate effects expected.

"The vast majority of the time the horses know what to do, and they are able to get to higher ground or protect themselves", said Gillikin.

"This is a life-threatening situation". "This is an extremely unsafe situation". Because the storm was so strong earlier in the week, it built up a wall of water which will push inland as the storm surge.

United States television networks said 7pm to 7am curfews had been put in place in several towns surrounding Myrtle Beach.

Numerous communities throughout the region have issued either mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

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