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Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm.

More than 20 inches (51 cm) of rainfall are possible across eastern North Carolina, said Don Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist for weather forecaster Radiant Solutions.

The slow-moving storm was about 905 miles (1,455 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), according to the NHC, which warned the storm was expected to strengthen with life-threatening storm surge possible along the coasts of North and SC.

On Tuesday morning, data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft showed that Florence's sustained winds had weakened somewhat from the 140 miles per hour speeds reported earlier. The Category 4 storm was moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour. If the storm makes landfall as a Category 4 in North Carolina, it will be the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall that far north. A hurricane watch was in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Virginia's southern border, and the first hurricane-force winds arriving late Thursday. "Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion".

"I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain", said Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired real estate agent who has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane. Also, it is unlikely the Knights will be able to replace the North Carolina contest with another game as the Knights don't have a true open date. Three of them - Harvey, Irma and Maria - were major hurricanes that ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands.

But while wind speed offers an easily quantifiable way to rate risky storms, forecasters are warning people not to fixate on wind speeds, saying that saltwater from the storm surge and freshwater from heavy rains pose a serious threat, no matter what the top winds are when the hurricane makes landfall.

"Where else can we go?"

Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same. "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said. The hurricane center predicts a "heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic for hundreds of miles".

Violence displaces over 30000 in Syria's Idlib, Hama this month
On Monday, Bolton called that statement "one of the most outrageous claims that I can think of" in the history of propaganda. About 2,000 US troops are now operating in Syria, majority in the eastern region of the country.

"That's good news and bad news", he said.

Although the storm's winds will likely diminish rapidly after making landfall, the heavy rain will persist as it stalls over portions of North Carolina and Virginia.

"Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls".

The tristate area continues to be among the most costly for motorists, with New Yorkers paying an average of $3.00 per gallon and CT paying $3.04 per gallon.

"Citing significant imminent safety concerns, ECU has decided it will not travel to Blacksburg for Saturday's football game against Virginia Tech due to the forecast track of Hurricane Florence that includes the high probability of a catastrophic impact on the region and perilous travel conditions before, during and after the storm", ECU's release said on Tuesday. At that level, it would still cause "devastating damage", according to the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Meanwhile, the Lesser Antilles are watching Tropical Storm Isaac, which was downgraded from a hurricane earlier Tuesday.

Helene is one of three major storms now swirling in the Atlantic.


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