'Monster' Hurricane Florence takes aim at U.S. Southeast

'Monster' Hurricane Florence takes aim at U.S. Southeast

The storm has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, but still poses a significant risk to coastal communities due to flooding and severe storm surges.

Florence is expected to start bringing tropical storm force winds to the Carolinas late Thursday. The storm is moving northwest at 17 miles per hour (27 kph).

Forecasters said early Thursday that the storm's outer rain bands are approaching the North Carolina coast.

Mass evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence are still taking place while residents and tourists hope to evade what could be the strongest hurricane in decades to strike the East Coast.

There are no plans to make up the game, although USC "will look for an opportunity to play a 12th regular season game" at some point this season, according to the school.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of SC and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect.

The path of Hurricane Florence has changed since Cooper made that statement Tuesday.




The shift in the projected track spread concern to areas that once thought they were relatively safe.

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. "Now it might be time for the exam", he said.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird. "These are our homes, we live here full-time".

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

"As you know most loss of life and threats to life are from the surge", he said. Most other beachgoers were long done.

"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting". "Also, a little creepy".

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