Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
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Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

The outer edges of Hurricane Florence has started lashing coastal North Carolina with heavy winds and flooding roads hours before expected landfall that will bring walls of water and lingering downpours. For a Category 2 storm, that means sustained winds of 154-177 km/h (96-110 mph). Federal emergency management officials warned that Florence - while weakening slightly - remains a "very unsafe storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast. It is now at Category 1.

"Hurricanes don't move through like typical storm events; they are these massive events with a lot of rainfall, and sometimes they move fairly slowly once they make landfall and drop a lot of rain on communities that may not have infrastructure prepared to handle that", Camp told Fox News. This is just the beginning of what should be a catastrophic storm, with tens of thousands of structures expected to be flooded before it's all said and done. Another 8 million people live in areas covered by hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

It is a Coast Guard station located 34 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

And in Wilmington, North Carolina, a steady rain began to fall as gusts of winds intensified, causing trees to sway and stoplights to flicker.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income". As Florence churned slowly towards the coasts of North and SC as a Category 2 hurricane, federal and state officials issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system.

The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather. Forecasters are predicting as much as 40in of rain in some localized areas. Additionally, tornadoes could arise in southeast North Carolina on Thursday and Friday.

Footage shows a pier and a beach in Nags Head, North Carolina, being hit with heavy surf as the storm rolls into the area.

Hurricane Florence is at the doorstep of North and SC, and she's not going away anytime soon. The power companies expect millions of people to be without power for days.

Some people, such as Jennie, are refusing to heed evacuation warnings.

Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the worst of the weather with his dog Canelo.

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said. "He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

"The only thing missing in there is a hot lady".

"I built this house myself, so I'm not anxious at all, I know it's solid", he said.

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