Adding to concerns, forecasters warned the larger and slow-moving storm could linger for days around the coast, leaving many without power and supplies. But Gov. Larry Hogan said he wouldn't cancel a statewide emergency declaration as the threat of Florence's remnants looms. "Today the threat becomes a reality".
"It's going to coming roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say 'I'm not sure I really want to do this and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland, '" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground. All that said, a saturated ground, even with tropical storm-force winds, will uproot trees.
Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.
"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount of rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.
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We've pulled together some of the key elements that explain why officials are so anxious , and what damage Florence could cause. Dead hogs and chickens were pictured floating in the floodwaters, which had been polluted with agricultural waste and petrol.
If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge". "The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".
The storm was about 100 miles southeast of Wilmington and had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, which is slightly weaker than earlier Thursday, the briefing said.
In the latest advisory the National Hurricane Center said: "The centre of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later tonight, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area on Friday. I'm going to get killed on the road, '" Bradley said.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Linda Foy said the utility has withdrawn requests for extra help from crews in other states. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding. Of course in these situations, there can always be isolated spots which receive significantly more rainfall.
States Prepare for ‘Storm of a Lifetime’ as Hurricane Florence Looms
Florence is expected to make landfall between Thursday and Friday. "It's time for our citizens to be a part of the team". The major airlines out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are bracing for Florence's impact on the east coast.
"We are extremely concerned with the streams and rivers at full capacity", Ringgold said. The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.
Some minor flooding was occurring late Wednesday and early Thursday along the Cecil County shore of the Susquehanna River below Conowingo Dam.
Hogan urged Marylanders to prepare for the possibility of more rain. President Trump has declared an emergency in the three states and says the government is "as ready as anybody has ever been". Flights from Fort Lauderdale to Greer, South Carolina, Richmond and Washington also are on schedule.
Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Michael Dresser, Cody Boteler and David Anderson and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
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