Tropical Storm Florence is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by tonight, according to the National Hurricane Center, while the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states are advised to monitor the progress of Florence.
Florence is forecast to turn westward and then northward through the Carolinas and to the Ohio Valley by Monday.
Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina — an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.
The remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest Virginia should see 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated spots getting 15 inches. This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.
A few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina through tonight.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said dangerous flooding was already occurring Friday across the North and South Carolina coasts; residents and visitors were advised to remain indoors until told by local officials that it safe to go outside.
“This is going to be a long duration, frustrating event; we won’t be able to fix the broken infrastructure while the storm is under way. But we are going to be there to support all those who need us,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “Our job is to pre-deploy our assets and teams to help the heroes at the state and local level do their jobs and backfill their capabilities. Search and rescue is our greatest focus right now as well as stabilizing critical lifelines.”
Residents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia should:
- Text, don’t call. During an emergency, phones lines may be overwhelmed. To let your loved ones know you are safe, send a text instead.
- Save power. If the power goes out, turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage. Only use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors and away from windows.
- Let first responders do their job. Stay off the roads, beaches, and waterways. Use VHF Channel 16, or call 911 for emergency needs.