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Eastern U.S. Residents Bracing for Hurricane Florence
USAgNet - 09/12/2018

Mandatory evacuations were imposed for parts of three East Coast states Tuesday as millions of Americans prepared for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades.

Hurricane Florence's size is "staggering," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned.

"We could cover several states easily with the cloud cover alone," Graham said. "This is not just a coastal event."

According to the Associated Press, Florence's top winds dipped to 130 mph (215 kph) Tuesday morning, but it remains a Category 4 storm and is expected to approach the most-damaging Category 5 status as it slows and strengthens over very warm ocean water off the coast of North and South Carolina.

The center of the massive storm is then forecast to meander Thursday, Friday and Saturday over a stretch of coastline saturated by rising seas, inundating several states and triggering life-threatening floods. Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over much of North Carolina and Virginia, and even 30 inches in some places. Combined with high tides, the storm surge could swell as high as 12 feet.

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