"It's possible it could be even higher than that depending on how quickly the storm moves to the coast, but we're kind of expecting it to slow down as it moves to the coast and would probably cut down the storm surge", AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski says. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC.
Hurricane Florence, the monster Category 3 storm taking aim at the North and SC coastline, is expected to make landfall by the end of this week and bring with it devastating wind, rain and storm surge.
"It is imperative that everyone follow local evacuation orders", President Trump tweeted Wednesday, along with a satellite video of the mammoth storm swirling through the Atlantic.
CoreLogic estiimates that Florence could damage more than 750,000 homes and businesses along the East Coast, with potential reconstruction costs of $170 billion. "If we try to leave, we'll just get stuck in the rain", she said.
"It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented". Winds this strong could knock some trees over and potentially knock out power.
Florence is now been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in the US, Thursday as an "extremely dangerous" hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center. Sharp added that some areas could see flooding where he hasn't flooded before.
A graphic of Hurricane Florence's path, generated today (Sept. 12) at 2 p.m. ET by the National Hurricane Center, shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow).
The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge". Winds will be high, with gusts possibly up to 50 miles per hour as the storm pushes inland.
Moving and storage company U-Haul will offer 30 days of free storage at its facilities across the Carolinas and Virginia as Hurricane Florence begins to bear down on the U.S. East Coast. In South Carolina and inland parts of North Carolina, 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall, with 20 inches possible in some areas.
Forecast models have said that several feet of heavy rain could cause flooding well inland from the coast.
The storm is expected to hit the Carolinas hard later this week.