'Harvey of the East Coast:' Florence's worst impact could be catastrophic flooding

Virginia Lawmakers Call on Trump to Declare Federal Emergency Ahead of Hurricane Florence

There are more than 25 million people facing the threat of the storm.

"Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday", stated the 11 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

Watches are already in effect for a storm surge that could reach up to 12ft at high tide on a stretch from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina, forecasters said.

Florence is packing maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour, with higher gusts - and it's getting both larger and better-organized, the hurricane center said.

With little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane-strength winds are expanding, reaching 40 miles from the eye of the storm, with tropical storm-force winds reaching up to 150 miles.

Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130mph winds in 1954.

Trojniar said she and her husband were packing up belongings and plan to stack sandbags around their single-floor home in Wilmington's eerily named Landfall neighbourhood near the ocean before checking into a hotel to ride out the storm, with plenty of wine.

A Category 4 storm has sustained winds from 130-156 miles per hour. Tuesday's 7-day rainfall forecast showed 20 inches or more falling there, part of a wide swath of rainfall that could total ten inches or more over much of Virginia and drench the nation's capital. However, UCF's only open weekend is October 27, and North Carolina is playing an ACC game at Virginia that day.

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After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and NY, will move east - but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said. "Any amounts of money, whatever it takes, we're going to do it".

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered a mandatory evacuation for about 245,000 residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same. "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said. "This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding".

While gas prices tend to dip around this time each year, motorists can expect to see a spike in prices as Hurricane Florence has arrived on the East Coast.

"That's good news and bad news", he said. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and 19 people in North Carolina. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed.

Power companies warned residents may be without power for days or weeks. That means that once rainfall begins late this week, it could continue into early next week, with flooding possible anywhere from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Coast.

The tristate area continues to be among the most costly for motorists, with New Yorkers paying an average of $3.00 per gallon and CT paying $3.04 per gallon. Florence will likely weaken to a Category 1 storm Friday or Saturday. At that level, it would still cause "devastating damage", according to the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Florence's growth from an ordinary tropical storm to a major hurricane had been well-forecasted since the cyclone originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa on August 30. Tropical Storm Isaac is heading westward toward the central Lesser Antilles, but is a bit weaker, with Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica now under tropical storm, not hurricane, warnings.

Helene is one of three major storms now swirling in the Atlantic.

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