Hurricane Florence: What storm surge could look like on East Coast

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In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump said the government "got A Pluses" for storm recovery in Texas and Florida and "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico".

It was forecast to make landfall mid-day Friday near Cape Fear, North Carolina, bringing up to 40 inches (1 metre) of rain, and storm surges as high as 13 feet (4 meters), the NHC said.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and the likelihood of it lingering around the coast for days - would bring seawater surging on to land and torrential downpours.

Cooper is saying: "Don't relax; don't get complacent".

The National Guard is on standby in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to deal with emergencies as they arise. "I've got four cats inside the house".

"A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion Friday night and Saturday", the NHC said. Purchase your plan early, because you will no longer be able to purchase a policy with coverage for a named storm once it's deemed "foreseeable". The hurricane center also adjusted its projected track, but kept it north of what most computer models were showing, to provide some continuity with past forecasts. The power company has warned that up to 3 million people could be left without power for an extended period of time following Hurricane Florence.

As of Wednesday night, Florence's tropical storm force winds were almost 400 miles wide - or the roughly the equivalent of driving from Washington, D.C, to Charlotte, North Carolina; or from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to St. Louis; or from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

The mayor of Myrtle Beach says her city has done as much as it can to prepare for Hurricane Florence. Anyone in an evacuation zone in the Carolinas and Virginia must leave NOW if they haven't yet.

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A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina.

The hurricane, whose strength has been compared to a direct hit by Mike Tyson, advances with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", he said.

The impact of Florence will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, risky surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.

"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said. The gradually slowing but still life-threatening storm is moving northwest at 15 miles per hour (24 kph).

Early Thursday Florence was about 235 miles (378 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 280 miles (450 kilometers) east southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation?

Florence officially weakened to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon and is expected to continue to weaken as it moves inland during the weekend.

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