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"Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends".

Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from a lethal blow by Maria last year, could see some rain and gusty wind, but nothing close to last year.

Florence, the most ominous for USA residents, is expected to make landfall today. The storm surge could rise up to 13 feet - that's water inundating homes up to the first-floor ceiling, the National Hurricane Center said. On top of that, a disastrous amount of rain - 500mm, possibly even as much as 1m - is expected to fall.

Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 105 miles per hour (165 kph) after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC. But when it comes to water, the maximum wind speed matters less than the size of the wind field for both storm surge and the destructive power of waves moving onshore.

Florence has forced people to cut their holidays short along the coast, while the storm's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons.

Now, many more people and houses are set to endure hurricane-force winds, which extend 80 miles out from Florence's center.

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

The Hurricane Center predicts the storm to maintain this strong Category 2 intensity until landfall, after which wind speeds will steadily decline.

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In Hampton Roads, a tropical storm warning is in effect from Poquoson to the Virginia-North Carolina border, including the lower James and York rivers. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area. Hurricane warnings are issued 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds hit the areas.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to remain alert despite changing forecasts.

But between evacuations and storm shutter installations, NASA and NOAA are keeping people informed and entertained.

Like a bulldozer, the storm's winds and forward motion will push a tremendous amount of water onshore when it makes landfall. If you're anywhere near the affected regions or have loved ones in the deadly Category 2 storm's path, make sure to keep track of what government and other storm trackers are advising.

The storm was heading for the coast of the two states but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

Energy companies have also warned that the storm could knock out power for the foreseeable future in some areas.

The Hurricane Florence has began to unleash fierce rains across the USA southeast.

"Floodwaters may enter numerous structures, and some may become uninhabitable or washed away", the Weather Service warned. The heaviest rainfall is still expected in South and North Carolina, with upwards of 30 inches of rainfall possible in some locations. As it turns into southern SC. On Tuesday (September 11), they published a map to their Facebook page showing the extent of the likely wind damage brought to the United States as Florence penetrates the Eastern seaboard. His home, built 1 mile inland in 2016, is raised 25 feet off the ground and is built to withstand 140-mph winds, he said.


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