UNC Storm Surge Expert Warns Of Potentially 'Catastrophic' Florence

Sand bags surround homes on North Topsail Beach N.C. Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast

The slow-moving storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, is expected.

Incredible time-lapse footage filmed from a hurricane-hunting plane shows what's it's like to fly through the eye of Florence, the storm that's already forced more than 1 million people to evacuate.

There are concerns that it could knock out power for weeks.

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

While Hurricane Florence has been downgraded, millions of people in and around South and North Carolina are still on alert.

A National Weather Service satellite monitoring Hurricane Florence has recorded a wave reaching 83 feet in the storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane warnings continue in parts of eastern North Carolina and northern coastal SC. The storm is expected to slowly move inland, battering much of the United States coast for days.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas". "There's nobody left to work".

"The preparation has been done and now it's up to mother nature as to what happens", he said.

At around noon, Quentin Felton, 39, of Morehead City arrived at Southeast Raleigh High School with her mom, three children, fraternal twin sister and her sister's two kids.

"Everything is packed", Espinoza said.

"I was very apprehensive", he said. "As they move in with us and seek to experience a better life, we want to make sure that when things are at their worst, that they're taken care of".

Lemuel Sloan of Jacksonville, says he rode out Hurricane Hazel in 1954 from a flat-bottomed ship just outside of Puerto Rico while he was serving in the Marine Corps. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties. But because Roper cares for extremely vulnerable patients, like those who just got out of heart or brain surgery, the facility applied for and received an exemption to the evacuation order because transporting the patients could be riskier than sheltering in place.

Florence is the most risky of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

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