Hurricane Florence to 'bring Mike Tyson punch to Carolina coast'

White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence gets closer to the Carolinas, Hurricane Hunters from the Bay area are flying right into the storm.

While some of the computer forecasting models conflicted, the latest projections more or less showed the storm shifting southward and westward in a way that suddenly put more of SC in danger and imperiled Georgia, too.

Florence weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm on a five-step scale but had maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour) as of 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), down from 130 mph earlier in the day.

The Post and Courier: "Charleston area should prepare for at least some flooding from Hurricane Florence" - "While predictions show Hurricane Florence heading for North Carolina, the amount of rainfall it could send Charleston's way carries a potential for flooding".

"Forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern SC and North Carolina's Outer Banks as a strong Category 3 on Thursday, although shifts in the track are possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs". "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely". All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

Even miles away from the Atlantic, North Carolina residents in low-lying areas are boarding up and emptying stores.

The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than 1 million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

The percentage of customers who may be affected by power outages following Hurricane Florence.

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Some fluctuations in strength are expected through Thursday morning.

Forecasters predict the storm will make landfall late Thursday night or sometime Friday.

President Donald Trump is urging those in the path of Hurricane Florence to act now to "get out of its way".

The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people.

Florence is unusual in that it is aiming at the Carolinas from the east.

Jeff Byard, FEMA associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, called Florence "a very risky storm".

"Just because we have a landfall to your south, that doesn't mean you're out of the woods, because the winds are huge around this system", NHC Director Ken Graham said, pointing out the wide risk of flooding.

Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that Florence would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". "It's called Mother Nature".

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