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ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up
14 September 2018, 03:04 | Edward Lowe
A third of all US bank branches could feel tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Florence
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.
Duke Energy, the major power supplier for North and SC, told the New York Times on Wednesday that the storm could knock out power for up to 3 million customers across the two states. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.
The hurricane is located about 165 miles (270 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (165 km per hour), it added.
Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge whipped the coast Thursday to begin an onslaught that could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.
The administration said that as Florence, a Category 2 storm, is expected to make landfall in the US southeast coast on Friday, the massive storm will obstruct electricity transmission and distribution, while widespread evacuations and disruptions to normal business operations could impact demand patterns for transportation fuels.
Everything you need to know about Hurricane Florence
USA carriers were also waiting to see what impact Florence could have on airports near Washington and in northern Virginia. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.
A truck drives through deep water after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded the street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in River Bend, North Carolina.
The center downgraded Florence to a Category 1 hurricane, but warned that it still carried "very risky winds".
Although the storm is approaching the US coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.
Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to.
Florence could bring wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as four metres and NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook they could push in as far as three kilometres. The slow forward motion means Florence will batter the area with heavy rainfall, producing up to 40 inches in coastal North Carolina and northeastern SC.
Hurricane Florence has begun thrashing the East Coast, and experts say the storm could unleash catastrophic flash flooding and storm surges as high as 13 feet.
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Virginia and Georgia are also under states of emergency, but it's North and SC that are positioned to suffer the worst of the storm's wrath.
Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered.
Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million to 3 million outages.
"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.
Perched on the porch of his home, carpenter Tony Albright was calmly awaiting Florence's arrival, beer in hand.
"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way, especially for people that we've already told to evacuate", Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said. "I charged the batteries of my electronic devices, I have beers and video games".
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