Southeast braces for Hurricane Florence

The storm has now decreased to a Category 3 hurricane, with winds near 125 mph.
8:53 | 09/12/18

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Transcript for Southeast braces for Hurricane Florence
Welcome to ABC news live I'm Diane Maceda we are keeping an eye on hurricane Florence for you this storm. Is massive and moving slowly both very dangerous factors. But we did just get a bit of good news Kent Graham the director of the National Hurricane Center is with us now to tell us all about it cannot we're hearing now that. Ford has been downgraded from a category four to a category three what does that mean practically for people in the storm. Malveaux of the best things that to think about this is probably nothing when it comes impacts because that's a natural part of the cycle these hurricanes start to get through. These little changes in the hurricane trying to redevelop itself over time so we're just talking a few miles and our army what separates a category three enough for us basically one mile an hour so the impact probably are gonna change at all without that new forecast. All right so what did people in the storm's need to know at this point. At this point I mean we are talking about major hurricane we got all modes of impacts on the way. This little overly concerned about one he talked about the size talk but the large area tropical storm force winds right around this senator. The other part that we're worried about is is how was slowing down and we've got progressive movement now that but what's this this is 8 PM Thursday this is Friday morning. This is Harry morning this this Sunday and look we've still with the press and even at the Monday so. That's a problem because once it hangs around the coast like this he could stay strong for a long time and that means battering the coastline with that the rains the winds in the storm surge. Is there one particular area you're more concerned about than others on that track. Never really looking at some of the storm surge we talk about the inland rain which is absolutely devastating and areas and very dangerous and also the storm surge I mean if you think about the storms or is that we have here nine to thirteen feet in the forecast and by the way that's away from the senator that's outside the Coen of these areas. That's you know people need to focus on because that's an incredible amount of water the longer the system hangs around the further you can push in some of those. Values in little we can see storm surge a mile in Lynn in some places and that's absolutely life threatening. And I know we have some images and video of what that storm looks like from space now I'm an amateur here but this just looks. Absolutely devastating how unique is this storm in terms of its size. You know it's a depth where large storm immunity looking back about the last couple decades dilemmas have seen others like this but they every form a so completely different. And you really can't apparent mommies is some we've seen some small storms. Due to a lot of wind damage as this moment this is all modes of those impacts and we talked about the wind lingering around the about saturated souls of all that rainfall and then putting wins on top of its trees down power outages and the rain falls to staggering here with wanted to forty inches potentially along the coast and also southeastern. North Carolina and with time in England six to ten around Charlotte up the Roanoke and a big factor here that we got to think about what the forecast air sometimes these these values and shift with time depending on the forecast so if you're at the edge here and you figure out of the woods. Things could change CPP got to be ready that's the case that the forecast changes paying attention is everything preparedness is everything. And I you know even watching all morning and through the last few days really as were looking at people. Via a vacuum waiting drivers trying to get out of town people boarding up their homes store shelves being emptied as people tried their best. To prepare for the storm. We're taking a look at some of the highways in that storm zone now and and it is bumper to bumper traffic in some areas as people are trying. To evacuate what are the best ways to prepare. At this point in the game. And they I think the biggest and remembers well what we're saying we're seeing that those evacuated since at the local officials say. That to leave Emmys are in danger because they're looking at some of the forecast that we have if you're in the flood zone. And you told the league have to leave it is just not worth chance in your life in one graphic that's really important to show is really today's the day. To be ready because this is what we're assuming as the onset of those tropical storm force winds tomorrow morning we're gonna start seeing those winds reached Landon North Carolina and then stretching in loan with time. When tropical storm force winds. Started arrived your preparedness used to be done that is too dangerous to be outside so we need to be wrapping things up today. And of course where we're often focused on what's going on on land and let residents. In those areas can expect but the navy have you have an interest in task on its hand here because it has. Several naval yards along that area where ships are in the water what kind of precautions do they have to take to make sure their ships or seeing. Now you really have to you have to look at any sort of assets that you have when we're talking about this storm surge if we were talking about in the storm for his ideas that I so do you actually you can have waves on top of that which is incredibly destructive that the key here. Is 90% of the fatalities in this tropical systems and balls war its inland along the coast with a surge it's in the water but it's also offshore. So the best thing to do especially well and are and how strong hurt him like this is to not be anywhere near it because this sees. You got seized 203040. Feet. You just gotta be nowhere near this typist. I know the track has already shifted slightly south is there any chance that that. Continues in either a more beneficial Laurie more dangerous way. You know I think at this stage of the game winner really put that forecast track buck on here for you. Is is the fact that we still have as Eric Brown an end and when you have a major hurricane of this size a little variations and in them with a landfall or even. Hugging the coast like the current forecast has its just that compounds those impacts of as a result. You know this clone. Two thirds of the time the senate could be anywhere inside this policy could see some of the errors here so that that's what we keep saying those impacts are there for a wide area not just because the size but because the forecast of certainty as well so this isn't going away anytime soon. Getting near the coast. For the over the end of the week and then through the weekend providing you know dangerous dangerous side impacts. And can so far the biggest you know danger areas it seems that we're focused on. Is it North Carolina South Carolina and Virginia but Georgia also recently declared a state of emergency same goes for Marilyn. Is there a a particular area that you think is going to be especially hard hit here do you think all of these bases and need to be just as careful. They really go back to this this Erica on that we have the center of the system could be anywhere in here and as a result will be go back to that rainfall graphic. You know you think these distant self so we sift the forecast a little bit so do these values that you could put even at the Georgia when you start getting these heavy rainfall amounts and put is Philip depression. Near Georgia so you can have high winds. You're gonna have heavy flooding rainfall river flooding I'm intense river flooding and then you have of saturated soils and put the wind on top of it these are knocking down trees power outages is just an impact all over the southeast that's what everybody needs to be really watching this for general close. And can't what's the latest on when they will feel the worst of the impact of this storm in those areas. And it's not the best news because that's that's the problem we have of the slowing down here think about you know we go back to the timeline here. And tropical storm force winds approaching the Carolina coast tomorrow morning and then stretching inland throughout the day tomorrow and then approaching the coast and slowing down will be this honor. And as a result prolonged winds let me through your still a hurricane even at the Saturday morning which means the continual. You know through you know late Thursday Friday and into Saturday continual. Battering of the coastline with those hurricane force when some places. Could see well over 2.4 hours even more of hurricane force when that is incredibly damaging. It sounds like preparations need to be going on right now because they'll already start feeling some pretty dangerous effects even early in the morning and it. And given that the storm has now downgraded. Do you expect that it will continue to get weaker as we go. Yeah I do not because of you really go back to the satellite. It's really a natural part of the life cycle the system's gonna have little walls are gonna have changes and really ahead of it we don't have a lot of atmospherics here in other words balusters. You know nothing to cause it to weekend and all this water here is not is really warned not to set the surface where we Majerus but deep layer warmth so we have a lot of energy from the ocean nothing in the atmosphere to stop its so now that that we don't really see any any weakening now we could see some strengthening but either way. A mile an hour either that you know either way even five or ten miles an hour at this days the impacts of reverse some more. Something is a lot feeding that's I'm Kent Graham from the director of the National Hurricane Center Ken thanks so much for joining us and again just reminded people out there we will continue. To keep you updated on the storm the latest the track and the wind speeds etc. but do heed those warnings if you are an evacuation zone. It started telling you to get out your verdict there from Ken. Mixture you get out. And that's as it for us for now here at ABC news live I'm Diane Macedo thanks for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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