Hurricane Florence is moving ashore. Now tornadoes are a threat in eastern NC.

Hurricane Florence is moving ashore. Now tornadoes are a threat in eastern NC.

Hurricane Florence’s heavy winds and rain have prompted a first round of tornado watches along coastal North Carolina. The watch is in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday. The threat is predicted to increase through Thursday and Friday, as the center of Florence moves closer to shore, said the National Hurricane Center. As of Thursday morning, winds in 40 to 73 mph range were extending 195 miles out from the center of the 300-mile-wide storm, said…

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Hurricane Florence Thursday live updates: Flooding worsens in New Bern

Hurricane Florence Thursday live updates: Flooding worsens in New Bern

As Hurricane Florence hurtles into the Carolinas and residents gear up for what’s now a Category 1 storm, our reporters and photojournalists are on the coast and around the region. Their Wednesday reports from the coast are here. You can follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/newsobserver/lists/hurricane-mcclatchy NC: More than 181,000 without power 11:59 p.m.: Hurricane Florence wasn’t expected to make landfall until Friday morning, but residents in coastal areas were already losing power as fierce…

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NC banned a study on sea-level rise. Could it mean more Hurricane Florence destruction?

NC banned a study on sea-level rise. Could it mean more Hurricane Florence destruction?

North Carolina legislators voted in 2012 to ban the use of a report that showed the ocean could rise as much as 39 inches by 2100. Now, with Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas, and thousands evacuating from the coast, that decision is once again making national headlines and drawing criticism from those who say state leaders who approved the bill were nearsighted. Some are saying the 2012 law could mean more damage from…

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While NC coast braces for Hurricane Florence, the bar that never closes has shut down

While NC coast braces for Hurricane Florence, the bar that never closes has shut down

The Tackle Box Tavern is a small rectangle of a building that borders the sand here in Atlantic Beach. And in the 11 years since Janice Bynum has owned the place, it has never been closed for a full day, so long as she could remember. “Christmas, Thanksgiving, everything,” she said, with pride, thinking of how the tavern was open on those days, and every other day, even during other storms. She thought about that…

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How You Can Help With Hurricane Preparations In Charlotte

How You Can Help With Hurricane Preparations In Charlotte

Nonprofit organizations around Charlotte are looking for extra help as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Carolina coast. The Red Cross has plans to open five emergency shelters around Mecklenburg County, and local homeless shelters are anticipating high demand as the storm approaches. If you’re looking for opportunities to help out, here are a few: Red Cross Emergency Shelters The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help staff emergency shelters in Mecklenburg County and…

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5 p.m. update: When will Charlotte feel the effects of Hurricane Florence?

5 p.m. update: When will Charlotte feel the effects of Hurricane Florence?

Hurricane Florence, which initially was expected to be a late-week and weekend visitor in Charlotte, now is expected to dampen the early part of next week. And it’s potentially bringing more rain and a greater risk of flooding. The National Hurricane Center now expects the Charlotte area to get 6 to 12 inches of precipitation from the storm in the coming days. Isolated areas in the higher elevations of both Carolinas could get as much…

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Homeless during Hurricane Florence? Here’s where you can go, and how others can help

Homeless during Hurricane Florence? Here’s where you can go, and how others can help

Four shelters opened Wednesday at Charlotte high schools and another will open Thursday morning as Hurricane Florence moves toward the coast of the Carolinas. The shelters are primarily meant for coastal evacuees, although Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management deputy director Robert Graham said Charlotte-area residents who haven’t found shelter with friends or family can come to the high school shelters, too. “We’re not going to turn anybody away,” he said. All five shelters — at East Mecklenburg,…

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How to prepare your house for Hurricane Florence: Tips from people who blow up houses

How to prepare your house for Hurricane Florence: Tips from people who blow up houses

Take it from the folks who blow up homes for a living, there are some common-sense steps to take now that will help prepare yourself and your home for the approaching storm. Hurricane Florence is expected to strike land and begin lumbering westward sometime Saturday morning, bringing a combination of torrential rains and gale-force winds to the Charlotte area. Duke Energy estimates up to 3 million of its customers in the Carolinas could be without…

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Why does FEMA’s Brock Long take Florence so seriously? Because he remembers Hugo.

Why does FEMA’s Brock Long take Florence so seriously? Because he remembers Hugo.

For North Carolina native Brock Long, Hurricane Florence is personal. Long, who grew up in Newton, was 14 in 1989 the night Hurricane Hugo swept in, toppling trees and damaging buildings. “Hurricane Hugo . . . came right over my house,” he told CBS News Tuesday. “We were out of power for 10 days. I was out of school I remember for two weeks. This storm is setting up to be very similar to that…

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Watch Hurricane Florence live from Coast Guard tower webcam

Watch Hurricane Florence live from Coast Guard tower webcam

Want an up-close look at Hurricane Florence? Watch the video below to see live footage from an old Coast Guard light tower, 32 miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. If current storm projections are correct, that won’t be far from where Florence makes landfall. [embedded content] One camera, mounted on the tower’s helipad about 100 feet above the water, should capture long views, along with the hurricane-force winds whipping the American flag. Shortly…

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‘Disaster is at the doorstep’ and Hurricane Florence ‘may be a marathon,’ NC governor says

‘Disaster is at the doorstep’ and Hurricane Florence ‘may be a marathon,’ NC governor says

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper continues to stress that residents be prepared and not take Hurricane Florence lightly as it appears likely to impact the Carolinas in the days ahead. “My message is clear: Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in,” Cooper said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “This may be a marathon — not a sprint.” Cooper encouraged people at the coast to leave now, while there is still time to do…

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Thousands without power along the NC coast Thursday as Florence approaches

Thousands without power along the NC coast Thursday as Florence approaches

This story was updated on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Nearly 15,000 N.C. electric cooperative customers were without power Thursday afternoon along the North Carolina coast as the effects of Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas. Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative reported nearly 13,000 members without power around 4 p.m., according to the co-ops outage map. About 9,400 of those outages were in Carteret County, which includes Morehead City. Tideland Electric Membership Corporation reported another 1,400 members affected, about…

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Live updates: Charlotte remains in Florence’s path for heavy rains, tropical storm wind

Live updates: Charlotte remains in Florence’s path for heavy rains, tropical storm wind

Florence drops to Cat 1, but still ‘life-threatening’ Thursday, 11 p.m.: Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane but was delivering “life-threatening storm surge” along the NC coast, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. Florence had 90 mph winds, and the “threat of freshwater flooding will increase” in the days ahead, according to the advisory. The storm was about 60 miles east of Wilmington. Islamic Center opens doors to evacuees Thursday, 9:24…

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As Hurricane Florence looms, flight cancellations begin at Charlotte’s airport

As Hurricane Florence looms, flight cancellations begin at Charlotte’s airport

This story was updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday. With Hurricane Florence approaching, the first wave of flight cancellations later this week at Charlotte Douglas International Airport started Wednesday, but the airport remains open. Staff at Charlotte Douglas will move to 12-hour shifts and activate the airport’s irregular operations plan starting Friday evening, and assist any stranded passengers with needed supplies. Airport workers were securing equipment and sweeping building roofs and other areas for debris ahead…

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