Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power

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Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. Hurricane Florence is forecast to make landfall tomorrow.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have begun to impact the coast of North Carolina.

"Just because the wind speeds came down, the intensity of this storm came down to a Category 2, please do not let your guard down", said FEMA Administrator Brock Long.

As of 8 a.m., the Category 2 storm was centered about 170 miles (275 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 220 miles (355 kilometers) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Florence is now about 110 east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

"Sometime Friday afternoon, Friday evening or Saturday morning", Goldstein said.

The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC. "Your time is running out".

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Janey Camp, a research associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University, said the "biggest concern" for those not along the coast "is the deluge of precipitation that comes with" hurricanes.

The police chief says he's not going to put his people in harm's way, especially for people they've already told to evacuate.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by what has been described as the most severe storm to hit the region in decades. His remarks fell flat in Puerto Rico where islanders are continuing to struggle to recover a year after the Category 4 storm.

Georgia joined a number of east coast states Wednesday in declaring a state of emergency. Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages.

North Carolina utilities estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.

Despite all the warnings from numerous authorities, some residents say are planning to ride out the storm.

THE life-threatening hurricane, Florence, is expected to hover the Carolinas in the USA with torrential rains, high winds and massive coastal erosion. "We will have catastrophic effects".

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