The Potential Reality Of Hurricane Florence Is Terrifying
"We could be talking about 6 to potentially 9 feet of storm surge."
A weather channel has painted a confronting picture of the worst case scenario for Hurricane Florence, which is currently hitting the east coast of the United States.
The storm, which was downgraded to a Category Two on Thursday, is posing immense threat to North Carolina's southern coast on Friday following flash flooding and potentially deadly storm surges.
Despite the downgrade and a drop from a peak wind speed of 225km/h to 165km/h on Thursday, the widening storm is still posing a lethal threat due to its relatively slow travel speed -- giving the system a greater amount of time to dump a deluge more than the estimated 10 million people in its path.
The Weather Channel has taken advantage of an impressive graphics system to illustrate in detail just what the worst case scenario might look like for people in the suburbs.
Meteorologist Erika Navarro explained how flood waters have the potential to reach a height of up to nine feet (2.7 metres) in areas not just on the coast, but inland along rivers.
"Once we get up into that six foot range, look at how high this water goes," Navarro said while standing in front of a towering wall of water.
"Winds pick everything up, cars will be floating at this point, this water's over my head. I wouldn't be able to stand here, even withstand the force of the water coming in."
With the water level already well above the broadcaster's head, the body of water rises one more time to almost double her height.
"But once we get to that nine foot range this is an absolute life threatening scenario," she said.
"This water is through the first floor of your home into the second, you can see there's fish floating around in here."
The center of Florence is expected to hit North Carolina's southern coast on Friday (local time), then drift south-west before making its way inland on Saturday.
More than one million people have already been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia, with thousands more moved to emergency shelters, officials said.
There are reports of more than 80,000 people without power in North Carolina.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned people not to take the storm's earlier downgrade as a sign the situation is no longer as dangerous.
"Please hear my message," he said.
"We cannot underestimate this storm. Don't relax; don't get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill."
The Governor has requested a presidential disaster declaration to expedite the process of receiving federal aid.