Hurricane Florence Shifts Course, Will Make a 'Grand Tour' of Southeastern States

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In Hurricane Sandy in 2012, storm surge-induced flooding measured as high as 9 feet above ground in parts of NY and New Jersey, leading to billions of dollars in damages.

For 62 years, Robert Faircloth has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters). A fourth victim was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator, according to the governor's office.

Jennifer Gray, CNN meteorologist, commented on the hurricane, saying: "Regardless, this is bad news for the North Carolina coast as well as the SC coast, and all the points inland".

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

Hurricane Florence was on course Wednesday to deliver a powerful blow to the east coast of the United States, with forecasters warning of life-threatening rainfall and flooding even as it weakened to a Category 2 storm.

Amtrak canceled its passenger rail service south of Washington, D.C., and there were almost 600 cancellations of flights arriving or departing from major airports in the Carolinas.

That's about 220 miles from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m. September 14, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. Numerous evacuees had pets with them.

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

Hurricane Florence barrelled into the Carolina coast and moved inland on Friday, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc. That happened a year ago when Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 150 centimeters (60 inches) of rain on the Houston, Texas, area.

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Twenty inches were reported by early Friday afternoon in the town of Oriental.

The center was located about 325 miles (520 km) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Florence became a risky Category 3 hurricane Wednesday afternoon before it downgraded to a Category 2 Wednesday night with winds at 110mph.

New Bern Police Lt. David Daniels said that between 150 and 200 people were rescued so far, with others still waiting for help.

Every coastal city along the Gulf or East Coast of the US is at risk of storm surge, the hurricane center said.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump would travel to the region next week unless his visit would disrupt cleanup and rescue efforts.

"The state is mobilising all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.

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