Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC

Barack Obama calling the current president

Parts of the Carolinas could see 50 cm to 76 cm, with isolated areas getting 101 cm, over seven days along the coast. And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

In less than 24 hours, Florence has dropped from category 4 to category 2.

"Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighbourhood and making sure my neighbours are fine, because nobody can get in here".

The storm surge is going to be potentially life-threatening for some areas along the U.S. coastline.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

Hurricane Florence crashed into the Carolinas on Friday, knocking down trees, swamping streets and causing four deaths before slowing to a pace that will lead to a days-long deluge for the region.

High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

"You can't get over till we have power and we have sewer up and running", said the retired teacher and real estate agent, who rode out the hurricane in an inland hotel.

Although Florence weakened to a Category 2 hurricane late Wednesday night, the storm is still expected to produce catastrophic flooding throughout the Carolinas when it makes landfall Thursday night or Friday.

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Hurricane-force winds extend up to 80 miles from the centre, and tropical storm effects reach 195 miles, The Independent reported.now less than 100 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, the "meandering" Florence has been described as a "horrific nightmare storm" because meteorologists can not pinpoint where it will strike. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said. Calls for help kept coming in as the wind picked up and the tide arrived, said city public information officer Colleen Roberts.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to three-quarters of a million homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

In Jacksonville, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the cinderblock structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

Hurricane Florence's path could affect the homes of more than 5 million people, and more than 1 million of them have been ordered to evacuate.

Thousands of people hunkered down in schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem. But with a storm surge putting pressure on water to head back inland and heavy rains swelling those rivers, widespread flooding is the result.

Overnight about 150 people in New Bern, North Carolina, were trapped in their homes and other establishments after rising water due to storm surge reaching 10 feet, according to CNN. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared past year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.

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