'Monster' Florence to pummel U.S. southeast

\'Life-Threatening\' Hurricane Florence Now Forecast to Bring \'Catastrophic\' Flooding

Meanwhile, hurricane Florence - the first major hurricane of the season - is heading toward the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, with forecasters warning it could be one of the most catastrophic storms to hit the region in decades.

Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, "is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night" and has triggered a hurricane watch for all of North Carolina and part of SC, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the US southeast. By Monday, it was evident that the worst-case-scenario was becoming reality, as Florence exploded in strength from a Category 2 hurricane to a Category 4 storm with winds in excess of 130 miles per hour.

NHC forecasts showed the effects of Florence would be widely felt, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 300 miles across three states. Some 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate.

Some forecasts call for Florence to stall out after it strikes the coast.

If the storm tracks further west than anticipated, weather along the Cumberland Plateau could turn "a bit more showery and breezy", the NWS said, "but for now things are looking pretty good for the Mid-State".

Hurricane Florence: What storm surge could look like on East Coast
As the storm ground inexorably east, residents did what they had to. "This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina", Gov. Its implacable advance threatens as much as $20 billion in damage, a toll that likely will unfold through the weekend.

At 2 a.m., the storm was centered 625 miles (1,005 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph (28 kph).

Communities in Florence's path could lose electricity for weeks due to downed power lines and flooded equipment, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said. A hospital in Hampton, Virginia, was transferring patients to safer places.

The Atlantic Coast Conference also announced that Wake Forest's game against BC in Winston-Salem will now start at 5:30 p.m.to get done earlier with Florence approaching the Carolinas' coastline Thursday and Friday. "We're in a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence".

"We are sparing no expense".

"My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years".

Days before its arrival, Florence was already disrupting commercial operations. She said her house, built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, is on a ridge and built to withstand a hurricane. No. 14 West Virginia's game at North Carolina State and No. 18 UCF's game at North Carolina are the others.

Robby Anderson hauls in Sam Darnold's 1st career TD pass
Roberts then tiptoed down the sideline for a 78-yard score, erasing the memory of the Jets' shaky special teams in the preseason . From the archives: It will be 50 years ago this week - September 15, 1968 - that the Lions opened the regular season at Dallas.

Residents prepared by boarding up their homes and stocking up on food, water and other essentials, stripping grocery store shelves of merchandise.

"The current forecast for both the impact and aftermath of the hurricane would require those officials to divert critical resources from what could be much more significant duties", UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. "What is flooding going to do to our home, our city?"

But while wind speed offers an easily quantifiable way to rate risky storms, forecasters are warning people not to fixate on that, saying that saltwater from the storm surge and freshwater from heavy rains pose a serious threat, no matter what the top winds are when the hurricane makes landfall.

"Where else can we go?"

Duke coach David Cutcliffe says the team will leave Durham on Thursday instead of its typical Friday departure because it's "our best opportunity to get out".

Hurricane Isaac maintains strength behind Florence, Helene
Locations that have been directly hit by a category 4 hurricane in the past have been uninhabitable for weeks. The hurricane is about 580 miles SSE of Bermuda and 1,240 miles ESE of Cape Fear, North Carolina .

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