As Hurricane Florence nears, expat Islander braces for storm in North Carolina

Florence UPDATE for Friday landfall North Carolina

Florence's top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) as its outer rain bands approached the North Carolina coast early Thursday, reducing the storm from Category 4 to Category 2, but forecasters warned that the enormous wind field has been growing larger, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".

At 8:00 pm (0000 GMT), the eye of the storm was 335 miles (540 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 16 mph (26 kph).

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

An estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, said Marc Chenard of the US Weather Prediction Center.

Trump said the federal government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate.

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Williams could have gotten away with calling the umpire a thief if she were a male player", Navratilova wrote . "She's passionate. Williams's critics, though, including 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova , have slammed Williams for her outburst.


Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper warned.

"This is a life-threatening situation", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, said Thursday morning.

"I'm staying. The building's solid and Buddha will protect us", she told AFP news agency.

Eight dogs and 18 cats from a shelter in Norfolk, Virginia, were sent to two shelters in Washington to make room for pets expected to be displaced by the hurricane.

The closer the center passes to us, the more rain & wind we'll see, the farther away the center tracks, the less rain & wind we'll see.

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

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"This is no ordinary storm, and people could be without power for a very long time - not days but weeks", a president of one energy company in North Carolina said on Wednesday.

Residents near coastal areas like this have been given evacuation warnings, although Raleigh is a bit inland so Chantal Cooke Weaver and her family are going to remain at home to wait out the storm.

About 1.7 million residents have been urged to flee from parts of North and SC.

Florence's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons.

Mr Graham said the Pamlico and Neuse rivers in North Carolina will see their flows "reversed" as storm surges push water back inland.

Almost 1000 prisoners in SC will not be moved from their cells, despite a mandatory evacuation order in the area.

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