Fears as Hurricane Florence nears USA coast

Instead of evacuating some people are kicking back with beer and pizza

Florence had once been a Category 4 storm, but even as a Category 1, it could still packs winds of 90 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".

US Southeast power companies said more than 188,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and SC were without power early Friday as Hurricane Florence caused a deluge ahead of its landfall later in the day. All four states declared a state of emergency.

The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

Storm surges are caused when huge volumes of water are pushed by hurricane-force winds.

"He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

"Sometimes these systems, they expand", she said.

She said: "It's not the middle of a hurricane yet, so why not come for a beer?"

Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.

More news: Hurricane Florence: Residents urged to rush as ‘unprecedented disaster’ looms

Members of the Missouri Search and Rescue, part of FEMA, unload their gear at a staging area as Hurricane Florence starts to make landfall in Lealand, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 2018.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

A man waves the United States national flag in the wind and rain from from Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 13, 2018.

Just as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Southeast, the area covered by hurricane-force winds has doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds 74 miles per hour or greater.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

Storm surge is deadly.

The storm could dump 20 to 30 inches of rain along the Carolina coast and up to 12 inches inland.

"I'm not going to lie: I'm scared", she said. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face". "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place".

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.

Yesterday, Dr Greg Postel, the network's hurricane specialist, said three feet (0.9m) of water was enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings.

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