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Offbeat "Zero to crazy in no time": Storm chaser describes Florence's wrath

18:10  14 september  2018
18:10  14 september  2018 Source:   cbsnews.com

Florence downgraded to Category 3 hurricane

  Florence downgraded to Category 3 hurricane Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 3 storm on Wednesday night but may strengthen by the weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm is in the middle of the Atlantic, about 1,085 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and about 1,235 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds at 125 mph. Florence was a Category 4 earlier Wednesday before weakening a bit by night time. It is moving northwest at 10 mph.

Hurricane Florence continues to barrel across the Carolina coast, threatening the area with major storm surge and high winds. Storm chaser Aaron Rigsby has covered several major hurricanes including Harvey and Matthew and is currently tracking Florence in North Carolina.

"This hurricane went from zero to crazy in no time," Rigsby told "CBS This Morning" by phone. "We were sitting maybe with maybe 30 mph gusts and then all of a sudden we started getting blasted with 80 mph winds. We had winds sustained at 80, 90 mph gusting up to 100 mph."

Florence is forecast to strengthen again and threaten US East Coast next week

  Florence is forecast to strengthen again and threaten US East Coast next week Florence has weakened from a major hurricane to a tropical storm, but it is forecast to strengthen again into a major hurricane and could threaten the US East Coast by next week.Tropical Storm Florence, currently in the Atlantic about 1,500 miles from the coast, is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Sunday, and continue gaining power for days.

He described seeing a "tremendous" amount of debris flying around, including large pieces of sheet metal, roofs and a lot of flooding, particularly in low-lying areas.

a wooden bench sitting next to a fence: Hurricane Florence© Getty Hurricane Florence Florence storm surge at about 7 feet in Beaufort, North Carolina

"There's trees down all over the place and when the eye wall was actually hitting us, it looked like lightning, there was so many power flashes and so frequent."

Rigsby likened Florence to Hurricane Harvey, which brought catastrophic flooding to Houston last August.

"The thing that's so similar about this, not necessarily the intensity, is it's behaving a lot like Hurricane Harvey last year, how it's just kind of parking here, slowly moving, dumping tremendous amounts of rain and some of these areas could see 20 to even 30 inches of rain by the time it's all said and done."

Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight but the major concern over storm surge remains.

Hurricane Florence impact to push up used-car prices .
Storm has destroyed tens of thousands of vehicles, creating an urgent need for people to find new wheelsAnalysts at Black Book, which tracks used car prices and sales, say that people in areas flooded by the storm will need replacement cars quickly to be able to get back to work. In addition, dealerships must replace their damaged inventory.

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