Carolinas brace for Florence

S Coastal residents leave creative notes for Florence

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

Helene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Thursday.

On the mainland in New Bern, the authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods, and that the downtown area was under water.

Teddie Davis goes to check on one of the town's signature bears that was toppled by Hurricane Florence in downtown New Bern, N.C., on Friday.

"In a somewhat remarkable turn of events that few, if any, models predicted 48 hours ago, Florence is now expected to stall over, or very near to, the Carolina coastline". That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated.

Hurricane Florence is slamming a region that is economically diverse as well as sizable. His remarks fell flat in Puerto Rico where islanders are continuing to struggle to recover a year after the Category 4 storm.

Names are only retired "if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate", according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration website.

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The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain. She says it had not run out at any of its 27 locations in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. When Hurricane Floyd made landfall near Cape Fear in 1999 as a Category 2 storm, bloated carcasses of hundreds of thousands of hogs, chickens and other drowned livestock bobbed in a nose-stinging soup of fecal matter, pesticides, fertilizer and gasoline so toxic that fish flopped helplessly to escape it. Workers at Florence Toyota in Florence, South Carolina, plan to pull high-value luxury vehicles into the service bays on Thursday to protect them.

"There is going to be a lot of rain".

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia. Smaller enclaves of Gullah, referred to as Geechee in some areas, are scattered along the Southeast coast from North Carolina to Florida.

President Donald Trump touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way of Florence.

Utility crews worked to restore electricity. All seven of North Carolina's ferry routes were shut down.

Hurricane Florence is bigger than the state of North Carolina and four times larger than Ohio. Some of those who stayed went to shelters while others stuck it out in their homes.Maysie Baumgardner, 7, and her family sheltered at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as Florence filled the streets with floodwaters. But rail cars with vehicles bound for Charleston and export markets overseas have been moved to secure areas until the storm passes.

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