Just as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Southeast, the area covered by hurricane-force winds has doubled — meaning far more people will get blasted with winds 74 mph or greater.
By late Thursday afternoon, the Carolina coasts can expect winds topping 80 mph. And that’s just the prelude to untold days of misery.
What also makes Florence extremely dangerous are the deadly storm surges, mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall expected far inland.
“Catastrophic effects will be felt outside the center of the storm due to storm surge as high as 9 to 13 feet. That’s the second story of a house,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning. “Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded, and many more by rising rivers and creeks.”
And don’t be fooled by the fact that Florence has weakened slightly to a strong Category 2 hurricane. Categories only represent the speed of sustained winds, and these are still destructive.
Meteorologists from our sister stations along the East Coast are providing live updates twice daily on our website. The next update is 11:30 a.m. You can watch their live discussion below: