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Cesar Mills
September 14, 2018

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

"Growing confidence that Southeast SC will experience a [prolonged] period of tropical storm winds and heavy rain Friday - Saturday from #Florence". The storm's winds will slowly weaken, but some of its most devastating effects may be yet to come.

Going dark: more than 400,000 outages, mostly in North Carolina, as of Friday morning local time, with Duke Energy anticipating 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses losing power.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted Florence would drop up to eight months of rain in two or three days.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. The storm may gradually drift into northeast SC.

The Hurricane Center's Dennis Feltgen reiterated that warning, saying 90 percent of hurricane-related deaths are from problems that arise with the massive amounts of water. We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas. The highest surge will coincide with high tide.

To prepare for this storm, businesses have been boarding up, and supplies have been readied for what is expected to be a large-scale relief operation.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm will eventually push westward and make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic region and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

As of 4 a.m., maximum sustained winds were at 90 miles per hour. By Sunday evening, winds should fall below 20 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

Forecast models suggest the heaviest rain will focus near the coast around the SC and North Carolina border.

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As of 1 p.m. ET, more than a foot of rain had fallen in many towns in southeastern North Carolina. These are numbers that far exceed what fell on the same region during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

It was expected to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, whose river was forecast by Monday to reach two feet above the record level it hit during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the National Weather Service said.

Even toward the interior of the Carolinas, away from the coast, rainfall totals over 6 inches will be widespread from Raleigh to Charlotte to Columbia. On Thursday, a CNN team in the area watched as the water crested over the edge of the river and flooded Union Point Park in a matter of hours.

The storm is not expected to change much in strength before making landfall.

While the storm's winds will abate as it moves inland, they could continue to gust to tropical-storm-force - especially near its core.

The rain threat may not stop in the Carolinas.

Roy Cooper, the Governor of North Carolina, said surviving the storm would be a test of "endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

And while Florence will likely leave "substantial" property damage that could take years to remedy, the US economy will probably rebound within a few quarters from any hits it takes as a result of the storm, according to Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan.

Southwest Virginia, West Virginia, the Ohio River Valley, and western and central Pennsylvania all have a chance of rain from Florence's remnants on Monday and Tuesday that could lead to flash flooding, depending on where the heaviest rainfall rates develop.

Other reports by GizPress

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