Fraudsters force people to evacuate as Hurricane Florence approaches

Sean Hannity Expects President Trump to Fire Mueller After Hurricane Florence

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.

The impact of Florence will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, unsafe surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.

Emergency preparations in the region included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.

The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added. The slow forward motion means Florence will batter the area with heavy rainfall, producing up to 40 inches in coastal North Carolina and northeastern SC.

Florence will bring large rainfall totals through Saturday in North Carolina, north SC and Virginia, causing catastrophic flash flooding.

"The longer it stays, the more wind, the more rain".

Photos of Hurricane Florence from space are truly scary to behold
Landfall was expected sometime late Thursday and FEMA officials said Wednesday was the last day for people to get out safely. Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings.


About one million seven hundred thousand people have been ordered to evacuate on the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Forecast models predict Florence's center may slow to a crawl just off North Carolina early Friday and make a southwesterly turn - punishing the coast while moving perhaps only 2 to 3 miles per hour.

Some of Florence's behavior, both what has been seen so far and what experts expect, show the influence of climate change.

Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean form when easterly winds coming off the coast of Africa organize clouds into tower-like structures. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across eastern SC on Friday night and Saturday. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

The storm is huge, the National Hurricane Center says, and its worst effects will reach "a large area regardless of exactly where the center of Florence moves". Hurricane force winds now extend out 70 miles, McDonald added. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.

The threat of storm surges loom for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible in the next 36 hours.

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Along North Carolina's Pamlico River, the area is bracing for storm surge of up to 13 feet, and all low-lying and flood-prone areas are under mandatory evacuation orders.

To back up that point, Graham cited a sobering statistic: "50 percent of the fatalities in these tropical systems is the storm surge - and that's not just along the coast". However, the surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves, regardless of when the storm arrives.

Subtropical storm Joyce formed in the Atlantic on Wednesday but is not expected to threaten land. If storm cleanup keeps courses closed, it will likely have a heavy impact on hotels, restaurants and the rest of the area's tourist economy. Some 11,000 power outages had been reported Thursday morning. The effects of torrential rain are devastating, costly, and deadly, especially in urban areas where concrete comprises the basis of most structures and makes it incredibly hard for water to drain.

There's some good news buried in the updated weather forecast.

Officials do not know why the people are trying to force others to leave, but they are looking into it. After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.

"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective", University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said.

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