Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

The centre of Florence is expected to strike North Carolina's southern coast on Friday.

    Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade
    Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean towards the US East Coast [ESA/NASA via Getty Images]

    Fast Facts

    • States of emergency were declared inthe Carolinas, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland
    • Around 1.7 million people under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders
    • Nearly 1,000 flights canceled through Friday
    • Duke Energy anticipates 1 to 3 million homes and business losing power 

    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.

    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.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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