Hurricane Florence continues to drop category, but not risky, while hundreds of thousands of people try to get away from the coasts of the two Carolinas and Virginia.
With storm surges of up to 11 feet predicted as Hurricane Florence strikes the Carolinas Friday, The Weather Channel created this sobering simulation with graphics that shows how risky that is - by putting their meteorologists into the virtual world. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding.
"Florence is intensifying", said North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper, adding: "This storm is strong, and its gettings stronger". Surrounding states like Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and even Pennsylvania will receive heavy rain at the end of the weekend and into next week as well.
Florence is expected to remain a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall. It will then hitch a ride on the jet stream and turn northeast.More news: 5 a.m. update: Hurricane Florences projected path shifts
About one million seven hundred thousand people have been ordered to evacuate on the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Wind speeds of unsafe Hurricane Florence decreased slightly Wednesday afternoon to 120 miles per hour according to the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.
AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said the damage and economic impact from the storm will likely be measured in the tens of billions of dollars.
Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.More news: Dua Lipa 'Horrified' After Fans Kicked Out Of Concert In China
Helping with rescues there were members of the so-called Cajun Navy, a group of Louisiana-based volunteers who became famous during last year's Hurricane Harvey, locals said on Twitter. "In light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall, I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas". Carolina Beach, a small community of roughly 6,300 residents and a vacation destination for many North Carolinians, has about 1,000 residents staying behind, according to a Fox News report. Some areas of North Carolina saw nearly a foot of rain in just a few hours and footage showed sea levels beginning to surge on land.
CNN quoted the town's Mayor Joe Benson as saying, "Our sand dunes are healthy but they're not going to be able to keep back a wall of water like that".
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.More news: Mac Miller Death Details, Dead for Hours, Drug Overdose