#HurricaneFlorence Now A Cat. 1, But Days Of Rain Are Ahead For The Carolinas

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Hurricane Florence’s leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 mph (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. Tens of thousands were without power.BBNiXVH

Winds and rain were arriving later in South Carolina, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded. Heavy rainfall began after dark.

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland. 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’s winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 1.

But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: “Don’t relax, don’t get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality.”

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:   Reuters
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