Hurricane Florence: 'This One Really Scares Me,' Forecaster Says

\'Life-Threatening\' Hurricane Florence Now Forecast to Bring \'Catastrophic\' Flooding

Some weather models have shown as much as 30-to-40 inches of rain falling across some areas of interior North Carolina, which would result in catastrophic flooding. The state is also a major producer of poultry and hogs, and man-made lagoons that hold manure also could be at risk of overflowing into fields and nearby waterways. "This storm certainly won't do the cotton crop any good".

Boeing Co suspended work on Tuesday at the SC plant where it assembles 787 widebody jetliners, and a Volvo automobile plant in South Carolina's evacuation zone was also closed, company officials said. "I'll tell you, agriculture is in the heart of that bull's eye".

The severity of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is intensifying and triggering hurricane warnings along the coasts of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update.

But while wind speed offers an easily quantifiable way to rate risky storms, forecasters are warning people not to fixate on that, saying that saltwater from the storm surge and freshwater from heavy rains pose a serious threat, no matter what the top winds are when the hurricane makes landfall. That could result serious flooding and wind damage for cities including Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina, and Columbia in SC. That timing was not lost on Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In 2017, its farmers raised 830.8 million chickens for meat, 9 percent of the US flock, and 32.5 million turkeys, or 13 percent of the USA total, according to USDA data.

Florence is still a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to regain its top wind strength in the next day or so.

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"I'm prayed up and as ready as I can get", Steven Hendrick said as he filled up gasoline cans near Conway, South Carolina. Carcasses were composted inside the houses where the birds were being raised.

To put things in perspective, any storm surge taller than 12 feet is "life-threatening", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

"It's well south of us", said Hubbard.

He has also cancelled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm. "Even if you have a slow season, it only takes one storm to really have an impact and cause a lot of damage". On Tuesday, rain halted his progress.

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different".

"Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles", the NHC said, urging residents in the Windward Islands - Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines - to pay particular attention to the storm. "Nobody would have the capacity to handle your animals", he said.

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The vessels would get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek to avoid potential damage from winds and tidal surges, said Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.

"Many of them have, unfortunately, been through similar scenarios here the last two seasons".

North Carolina's corn crop was 43 percent harvested as of Sunday, while the type of tobacco most commonly grown in the state was 67 percent harvested, according to USDA data.

Kathleen O'Neal, a resident of Ocracoke Island in North Carolina's Barrier Islands, said she, her husband and son would ride out the storm.

"This is a risky storm, this storm will and has the potential to cause loss of life", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator of FEMA.

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