Hurricane Florence weakened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved towards east coast of the United States, the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said on Wednesday, but a life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall were still expected.
The decision came hours after revised forecasts showed the potential for a greater impact on SC from the hurricane, so the game's cancellation will free up hotel rooms in the Columbia area for evacuees while allowing emergency personnel to be utilized in areas impacted by the storm.
As of 11 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph (7 kph).
Florence's top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour to 110 miles per hour as its outer rain bands approached the North Carolina coast early Thursday, reducing the storm from Category 4 to Category 2.More news: LeBron James congratulates Seattle Storm on WNBA title
A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west, north-westerly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States, taken by cameras outside the International Space Station on Wednesday.
Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 1.
Manure lagoons are about as pleasant as they sound-vast open-air ponds of manure located next to the many hog farms near the North Carolina coast.
He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.More news: Apple September 12 event wrap-up: new iPhones, Apple Watch, and more
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to remain alert despite changing forecasts.
Handout. / Reuters Three North Carolina Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters land as part of storm preparation for Hurricane Florence at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.
Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.
North Carolina has roughly 2,100 industrial-scale pork farms containing more than 9 million hogs. President Donald Trump said there was nothing to fear because his administration did such good work responding to last year's storms - including Hurricane Maria, which killed 3,000 people in Puerto Rico. Many coastal towns have already instituted mandatory evacuation orders. "Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in", he said in a tweet. "It wants to get stronger", he said of the storm. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. And although the storm's wind speeds have decreased slightly, says NOAA, the size of the wind field has increased, putting more people at risk. Most other beachgoers were long gone.More news: Brainstorm Health: Hurricane Florence, The Apple Watch Debate, Rivals Hit Roche