Unbelievable images of Hurricane Florence captured from ISS as storm nears coast

Posted September 14, 2018

Sen. Jeff Merkley of OR said the administration was taking money from FEMA's "response and recovery" to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency at a time when Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Southeast U.S. coast.

Despite the county remaining in a state of emergency, Hurricane Florence is beginning to track more northwest, which means the community will feel fewer effects from the storm, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricane Florence is packing sustained winds of 140 miles (220 km) per hour and remains an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm as it approaches the U.S. eastern coastline, specifically the Carolinas.

Coastal residents fleeing a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 140 miles per hour (225 kph) winds and drenching rain that could last for days.

The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9ft of water in spots, projections showed.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland were trying to time their evacuation from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

What's more certain is beach erosion and unsafe surf conditions.

The precipitation from Florence will start midday Thursday and then it will rain for four days, said CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater.More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in Virginia and the Carolinas, where up to 40 inches of rain could fall. In fact, Florence itself is larger than North Carolina itself. North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said crops such as tobacco and corn are in midharvest while sweet potatoes, peanuts, soybeans and cotton are still in the field. Catastrophic floods could follow if the storm stalls inland, it said.

Mayor Joe Benson said the storm will batter the oceanside town through two high tide periods.

Her home in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is at risk for flooding, and her family and nearby relatives will ride out the storm in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Crews also prepared 16 nuclear reactors in the three-state region for the storm. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Rainfall totals from Hurricane Florence will top 20 inches in some areas, the National Weather Service says. Allison Jones said she's not taking any chances.

"Many of the people here have never seen a storm this strong", he said.

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different".