After the “monster” storm was categorized as a level 4 earlier on Wednesday, it dropped back down to a 3, as the Inquisitr reported. Now, Thursday morning, the hurricane category has continued downward to level 2, but is as dangerous as ever, according to Accuweather. As of today, the storm boasts winds of 110 miles per hour and is expected to remain at its current category until at least later this evening. However, there is always a chance Florence could pick back up in intensity before hitting the coast.
The reason the storm still holds so much danger, despite its lower category classification, is its massive size, experts say. As the category decreases, so does the storm’s speed, meaning it will linger over some areas for days, lengthening the time period for damage such as flooding. From Thursday evening through Saturday, the storm is expected to hover along the coast of the Carolinas, causing devastating damage to the area, Accuweather says. Areas along the coast can expect to experience torrential rainfall, huge gusty winds, and erosion along the coast. Disasters such as toppling trees and power surges may also be experienced due to the oversaturated soil.
Accuweather founder and president Joel N. Myers stated that his organization is now more focused on predicting the effects of the storm on people, rather than simply monitoring the storm’s intensity.
CBS News also highlighted the potential damage of Florence’s unique size and scope, estimating extremely high costs. The news outlet related that Georgia is now in danger due to the storm’s size, and Duke Energy is making preparations for extreme power issues. Apparently, the number two power supplier in the country estimates that 1 to 3 million homes and businesses could lose power for a lengthy period of time. Duke Energy president stated the significance of the impending damage.
“Hurricane Florence will be a life-changing event for many people here in the Carolinas,” he said.
The National Hurricane Center is now reporting that the hurricane is about 200 miles off the coast of the Carolinas, as of 8 a.m. ET. The track of the storm has shifted more south and west than originally predicted, CBS reports. Tonight, Florence is expected to begin wreaking havoc on the North and South Carolina coasts, hover there for another day, and then move inland closer to Saturday.
Again, it should be stressed that although the hurricane has now been downgraded to a level 2 storm, this does not mean it is any less dangerous. The monster size and its slow motion are sure to be devastating to the U.S. east coast. Jeff Byard, an administrator with FEMA, summed it up in terms anyone can understand.
“This is not going to be a glancing blow. This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast.”