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Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade

Richmond has moved its scheduled home football game this week against St. Francis to the Red Flash's field in Pennsylvania because of Hurricane Florence. "It's a big one", President Donald Trump said at the White House.

In the 11 p.m. ET advisory, Florence was 280 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 17 mph.

Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

FlightAware expects the number of cancellations to rise, although "the limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a statement. Some fluctuation in wind speeds are expected, and weakening forecast Thursday, but it's still expected to be a fierce storm triggering risky flooding.

"This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina", Cooper said.

Governors of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, joined by Washington D.C. mayor on Tuesday.

The 400-mile wide storm is predicted to start slamming the N.C. coast Thursday night to early Friday, then weaken to a tropical storm as it drifts into SC, said John Quagliariello, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia.

The storm will slow down because of pushback from a trough - an extended area of low atmospheric pressure - now over Texas, Stacy Stewart, an NHC senior hurricane specialist, said in the update.

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More than 10 million people live in areas under warnings or watches for hurricane- or tropical storm- force winds, CNN reports. That leaves the "spinning wheel" at the hurricane's core stranded, "and it'll just sit there until the weather pattern changes", he said. And Florence is a large storm, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds outward up to 195 miles. "Your time is running out". And if local officials recommend evacuation, evacuate immediately. Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. "This is a life-and-death situation".

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than 1 million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

The massive storm is larger than North Carolina and South Carolina - combined, according to South Carolina Emergency Management. "We just want prayers from everyone". More to come on this part of the forecast.

"If you have not left now, you need to leave", McMaster said.

Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the three-state region.

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said. He also warned residents to be prepared to be without electricity "for a long time" in the storm's aftermath.

"I'm staying. The building's solid and Buddha will protect us", she told AFP news agency.

The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.