Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall in US

Customers buy supplies at a Lowe’s store in Wilmington North Carolina. The city could take a direct hit from Hurricane Florence

Customers buy supplies at a Lowe’s store in Wilmington North Carolina. The city could take a direct hit from Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., at 7:15 a.m. ET, creeping slowly ashore - but bringing strong winds, a massive storm surge and a rain system that will soak much of the state and SC for days. But with a storm surge putting pressure on water to head back inland and heavy rains swelling those rivers, widespread flooding is the result.

Florence will likely weaken as it moves inland, especially on Saturday (Sept. 15) as it moves over SC, according to National Hurricane Center predictions.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the US are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

After appearing headed toward the North Carolina-Virginia border at one point, Florence shifted south and is now taking aim at the Carolinas.

"For now our focus is to be able to help pets in shelters in our area first if the storm should hit Maryland, and then we can assess our space and make plans to see if we're able to help in any other capacity, including helping shelters and pets in other states", said Maryland SPCA spokeswoman Tina Regester.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported. North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia were expected to be hit with the brunt of the Category 3 storm.

In the 5 a.m. ET advisory, Florence was 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 15 mph.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

Before sunrise, high winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC. As the storm moves inland it will find a relatively flat area for hundreds of miles.

The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

Still, the storm has the capacity for huge destruction.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

Yes, because it's bringing a voluminous amount of rain, and by lingering it creates worse flooding.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said. They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades.

She added that the attitude from the administration is unacceptable and that "we have a moral obligation to do better, not only to finish the job of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but to prevent the same type of inadequate response from ever happening again". It is expected that the hurricane moves on or near the coastline during the night of Thursday through Friday. It is expected to turn away from the U.S.

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico.

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