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Trump promises all-out response to Hurricane Florence

12 September 2018

The Carolinas could begin to feel Hurricane Florence's fury as early as Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A storm as big as Hurricane Florence will hit with a "one-two punch" deluge of water, Erik Salna, the associate director of the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University, says.

"The seas are going to get extremely rough and so any boating should be discouraged until this thing moves inland and the seas drop off this coming weekend".

And the storm surge, which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change. As of midday on Tuesday, Florence remains a powerful category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. He said it is expected to produce two to three feet of rain, mostly centred on North Carolina, Virginia, and the northern sections of SC.

About halfway between Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Helene is the small but unsafe Tropical Storm Isaac, which was downgraded from hurricane status early this morning (Sept. 11). That was Hurricane Hazel, which was already responsible for killing 1,000 people in Haiti and had winds clocked at 150 miles per hour when it hit the coast in 1954.

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Forecasters are predicting that Florence will make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday as a Category 3 hurricane.

The storm is expected to threaten the Carolinas and Virginia. Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Rain from Hurricane Florence falling on this saturated ground will bring a widespread and severe flooding event.

"All indications are that the storm will slow down and just crawl or meander over the inland sections and the coastal Piedmont", Weather Channel hurricane expert Bryan Norcross said.

"We have to be careful we're not asking them to come back to Beaufort County through a storm", he said.

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The NHC warned that hurricane force winds may extend 65 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds may reach 240 kilometers outward.

As Hurricane Florence continues to gain strength in the Atlantic, emergency officials in Dare County, N.C. are evacuating the Outer Banks.

Airlines, including American and Southwest, have started letting passengers change travel plans that take them into the hurricane's possible path.

"It's important not to focus on the center line of the hurricane when you look at forecasts", Anderson told The State. Gov. Roy Cooper declared North Carolina under a state of emergency last Friday.

He said Florence could rival the impact of Hurricane Hugo, which wreaked $7bn (£5.3bn) in damage and claimed 49 lives in 1989. Even normal water is warm enough for a storm to form there, but this adds to the storm's fuel and its rainfall.

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Trump promises all-out response to Hurricane Florence