Hurricane Florence looking ‘bigger than anticipated’

Hurricane Florence looking ‘bigger than anticipated’

Florence is expected to make landfall between Thursday and Friday.

Even so, the NHC does not say sustained winds above 40 miles per hour are likely in North Florida, giving it less than a 20 percent probability in the forecast map update at 2 a.m. today.

"We will experience power outages, we will have infrastructure damaged, there will be homes damaged, and there will be debris on the roads", said Jeff Byard, an official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A hurricane-hunter airplane measured 25-metre waves near the eye of Florence, according to a tweet from the National Hurricane Center.

"They say it's about as big as they've seen coming to this country and certainly to the East Coast as they've ever seen".

It comes as the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast that the storm would potentially take a southern turn after hitting North and SC.

A long stretch of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard remained vulnerable to hurricane and tropical storm conditions, from Georgia north through the Carolinas into Virginia. "This will allow us to take care of our community and also be prepared should the need arise to assist others", Walker said.

A steady stream of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland Tuesday, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone to flee.

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Even with some weakening that's predicted just before it makes landfall, the storm "is expected to remain a unsafe major hurricane as it approaches the coastline", the hurricane center said.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate. "Wherever you live in North Carolina, you need to get ready for this storm now and you need to evacuate if asked to".

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence", Deal said in a news release.

Florence is one of the strongest hurricanes on the eastern seaboard in decades, and will bring a triple threat of unsafe storm surge, flooding and hurricane-force winds in parts of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20in of rain, if not more, with as much as 10in elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington DC. Everyone in the Carolinas should continue to finalize their preparations for the storm Wednesday.

As of Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

Coastal residents have already started leaving the shores and heading west inland, but many are finding empty gas pumps as gasoline stations are sold out of gas.

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