US East Coast residents have been warned of severe floods to be caused by Hurricane Florence on Thursday as the tropical storm regains its strength on its way to North Carolina.
WTSP meteorologist Ashley Batey warned the hurricane will spread throughout the American east coast in the next couple of days.
She warned: “All eyes are focused on this storm, Hurricane Florence.
“Winds have decreased a little bit this morning down to 130mph but that’s only because it’s undergone what’s called an eyewall replacement cycle that temporarily weakens the storm.
“But as we put the tracker on you can see by tomorrow morning we’re still anticipating this will strengthen into the neighbourhood of 150mph.
“A category five is 157mph or above, we certainly flirt with that before we see a little bit of weakening as we see it approaching the Carolinas coastline on Thursday, likely during the evening.
“And then from there, it’s going across the area meaning a big flooding threat is in the forecast.
“Models becoming more and more confident on where the storm is going to make landfall.
Models becoming more and more confident on where the storm is going to make landfall
“It looks like it will be North Carolina. And from there we’ll see it kind of set before it moves on to the north.
“But for about two days this storm is only going to move about 100 miles or so.
“That means we’re going to see a lot of rain associated to the storm.”
The National Weather Service has warned the hurricane has the potential to be a “storm of a lifetime”, posing a threat to life as well as likely to cause massive damage.
It could turn into a category 5 storm when it picks up energy as it makes its way across the Atlantic.
North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper said yesterday: “This storm is a monster. It’s big and it’s vicious.
“It is an extremely dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane.
“I can’t emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding.”
The hurricane’s impending landfall in North Carolina has seen panic-buying at petrol stations threatening to trigger a fuel crisis in the US state.
Frightened locals are filling up their vehicles before the arrival of the life-threatening storm, which could hit as a Category 5 hurricane.
motorists fill up before the arrival of the life-threatening storm.
Lauren Hancock, a resident of Wrightsville Beach in the state’s evacuation zone, said: “I’m looking across the street at a gas station, and it’s a madhouse.
“People are honking at each other, cars are almost lined up out to the street.
“There are several gas stations out of gas.”