North Carolina Buckles Down for Hurricane Florence

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- North Carolina is now less than 24 hours away from the landfall of Hurricane Florence, which weakened to a Category 2 storm overnight but is still expected to have devastating effects on both the central and southeastern portions of the state, particularly the coast. "We've never had to evacuate", said the lifelong North Carolinian.

Almost 1000 prisoners in SC will not be moved from their cells, despite a mandatory evacuation order in the area.

The storm will stay over this area of the USA through the weekend with North Carolina cities Wilmington and Jacksonville expected to receive up to 130 centimetres of rain.

Since Tuesday, forecasts have shifted the storm track towards the south and southwest after it reaches the coast, which could increase the storm's severity in coastal SC through Myrtle Beach and Charleston and even into parts of Georgia.

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In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence".

It is expected to make landfall this evening and wind destruction and flooding is highly likely.

Roper Hospital, which is part of the larger Roper St. Francis Healthcare system and operates nearly 400 beds, is going to remain open and maintain full staffing levels throughout the storm in case they have to receive people who chose to stay in place during the hurricane. As it turns into southern SC. But one thing it might actually help is to reduce the overall wind speed, though we're still going to have gusty winds around here which combined with that wet soil could bring down some trees.

Eventually, Florence will veer north into the Appalachian Mountains, bringing soaking rains to Virginia and western North Carolina, before sputtering out late next week near DE and Maryland, the FWS reported.

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The first tropical storm-force winds of at least 63 kph were forecast to hit the coast on Thursday.

The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring risky rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina, with 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says.

Parts of North Carolina are expected to get 13 centimetres of rain in the coming days. We want to make sure everybody knows that we are out. 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. So we're going to have delayed impacts from this even after landfall on Friday.

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