Here's what the DC region can expect from Hurricane Florence

NASA via Getty Images

"Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated".

A ideal storm of unfortunate circumstances means Florence could deal a devastating blow to the Southeast.

One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45 inches in parts of North Carolina. A NOAA buoy located about 100 miles northeast of Florence's eye recently reported a sustained wind of 53 mph (85 km/h) and a gust to 74 mph (119 km/h).

Several prominent beaches along North Carolina's southern coast closest to where Florence was expected to pass as of Wednesday morning were under the mandatory evacuation order.

Astonishing winds aren't the biggest danger.

Communities in Florence's path could lose electricity for weeks due to downed power lines and flooded equipment, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said. "It also has the highest potential to cause the most destruction". And the more it hovers just off shore - a distinct possibility - the more potentially deadly storm surge it pushes on-shore. Life-threatening storm surges of up to a staggering 13 feet in some places were also forecast.

WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich told WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry that the shift of Florence means more rain for the Charlotte area. Florence is the latest example. "But as this system comes in and makes landfall, during the weekend it's forecast to stall out, lose its strength and its steering currents, and drop copious amounts of rainfall". You're going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas. "It's a statewide threat for the states involved".

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Some areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 inches of rain through early next week in the area shaded in purple in the second image above. So the land can't absorb much more water.

The Carolinas will likely bear the brunt of Florence's wrath.

Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference wont make it any less unsafe, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Center discussion.

And in the 29 years since Hurricane Hugo struck, the population of the coastal Carolinas has skyrocketed.

SC will not be evacuating Ridgeland Correctional Institution, even though it's in an area that could be hit by Hurricane Florence, the newspaper The State reports. More than a million people have been urged to evacuate from the storm's path. "It's going to have tremendous impact on our weather and local conditions".

"We're a resilient bunch down here". "We've been running as hard as we can go", he said. "But this is pretty serious".

While one man concluded: 'We are about to get pounded, but since we have absolutely no control over it, all you can do is laugh, and pray for the best'.

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