Hurricane Florence will hit the Carolinas hard, producing catastrophic flooding, "life-threatening storm surge and destructive winds," according to a report on The Weather Channel.
"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast," the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote in its Tuesday evening area forecast discussion, adding in a Wednesday report that flooding in southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina could be "unprecedented."
Florence, which is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast later this week and turn slowly left, weakened Wednesday night as it continued toward the coastal Carolina areas, reported the National Hurricane Center.
The Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph is expected to produce 20 to 30 inches of rain in the coast North Carolina area, and 5 to 10 inches in western South Carolina and northern North Carolina, per the National Weather Service. Elsewhere, in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states, Florence is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain.
By 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the storm was about 335 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. Although wind speeds have dropped – Florence was a Category 4 on Monday with 140 mph winds – the National Hurricane Center warned wind fields are still expanding, and the hurricane has more total energy, which will "create a significant storm-surge event."
Florence could bring life-threatening storm surges up to 13 feet. President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and South Carolina and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.
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