Hurricane Florence: Here’s What You Need to Know About the Storm

In this NOAA satellite handout image , shows Hurricane Florence as it made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. The National Hurricane Center reported Florence had sustained winds of 90 mph at landfall and was moving slowly westward at 6 mph. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
 NOAA via Getty Images

The first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has arrived, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the east coast of the United States, and the storm surge from the hurricane is expected to affect millions of people.

There are over 5 million people in the areas where the hurricane warning has been issued, according to the National Weather Service. Along with that, another 4.9 million people are in areas that have been given tropical storm warnings. The government has urged people who live in areas with storm warnings to evacuate and get to shelters as soon as possible.

You can track the storm and get updates from the National Hurricane Center.

Here are some new updates as of Monday September 17: 

-Wilmington, NC has been isolated due to weather damage and flooding, according to The New York Times.

-There have been 23 reported deaths due to the storm.

-25 million people are under flash flood watches, according to CNN.

-There are numerous flood warnings and road closures. Check the National Hurricane Center for more info.

Here’s what you need to know about Hurricane Florence:

The Power of the Storm

On Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence was hitting up to winds as hard as 110 mph, and while it was first classified as a Category 4 storm, it’s now being described as a Category 2 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. The government administration also reports that the storm is expected to have “life-threatening storm surge and rainfall” as it hits the coast.

The Storm Location

Hurricane Florence is expected to hit numerous areas, and as of Thursday, it’s hitting North Carolina and South Carolina areas with rain. The hurricane is expected to make landfall on Friday on the North Carolina coast, and as of 5 a.m., the storm was 35 miles east of Wilmington, according to the National Hurricane Center. Over 1 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were also warned to evacuate their homes.

Hurricane Florence Damage Estimates

Flooding is expected up and down the North Carolina and South Carolina coast, and as much as 40 inches of rain could come down on the area, according to ABC News. The storm surges from the hurricane are expected to be high and could reach as much as 13-15 feet, and “freshwater flooding is expected over portions of North and South Carolina,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

Power and Electric Issues

As if Friday, at least 200,000 people in North Carolina were already out of power, and the storm could keep that power down for the entire weekend, according to ABC News. Duke Energy said that the hurricane could knock out “electricity to 3 million of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas” and that power outages could last in the area for “weeks,” according to The Guardian.