Hurricane Florence has come closer to the US East Coast as disaster mobilisations expanded south from the Carolinas into the state of Georgia to counter the threat of deadly high seas and calamitous floods.
The centre of Florence, which is no longer classified as a major hurricane but still posing a grave threat to life and property, is expected to strike North Carolina’s southern coast on Friday.
It is then expected to drift southwest along the shoreline before moving inland on Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds were clocked at 175 kilometres per hour late on Wednesday, down from a peak of 225km/h a day earlier, before it was downgraded to a Category 3 and then a Category 2.
Hurricane-force winds will begin reaching the coast of the Carolinas by Thursday morning and the storm is not expected to leave the region in the next two days.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 13, 2018
Slower movement means a hurricane has more time to inundate a region with rain and storm surge.
According to Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at weather.us, around 10 trillion gallons of water may be dumped on the area, which may lead to rivers overflowing and causing life-threatening floods.
US President Donald Trump has authorised emergency measures to free up federal funds to help those responding to the storm.
Brutal. Both the UK and US models show Florence moving about 50 miles over the span of two days; Friday and Saturday. https://t.co/kVR8xsuiOR
— Eric Berger (@SpaceCityWX) September 12, 2018
Hurricane #Florence looks enormous, even from space. Here are three dramatic views of the storm approaching the East Coast, seen from the #GOESEast satellite this morning. Latest updates: https://t.co/LrkBX5oj8L #HurricaneFlorence pic.twitter.com/jJGJVOxbHq
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) September 12, 2018