Hurricane Florence Poised to Hit, Sit on
The winds of Hurricane Florence weakened as the storm prepared to hit the
The slow speed will give Florence time to pound the Carolinas with band after band of heavy rain, causing "catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding."
By the time the storm leaves the region, forecasters expect it to drop 50 to 75 centimeters (19-30 inches) of rain in coastal areas, with some parts capable of receiving up to 100 centimeters (40 inches). Farther inland, rain totals could reach 25 centimeters (10 inches) in the Carolinas, and 15 centimeters (6 inches) in neighboring states.
The other threat for those living along the coast is the wall of water known as storm surge that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore. That could cause normally dry areas to be flooded by up to 4 meters (13 feet) of water moving inland.
But because hurricane force winds extend 130 kilometers 80 miles) from the center, people on land will experience sharply deteriorating conditions long before the center reaches the coast.
About 10 million people live in areas that were under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings and watches Thursday.
Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas. The governors of
"We'll handle it. We're ready. We're able," he said. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready."