President Donald Trump appeared to raise the level of alarm over the coming Hurricane Florence on Twitter on Thursda, saying the storm had gotten “even larger and more powerful” despite it being downgraded from a category 4 to a category 2 storm.
Trump on Wednesday warned US citizens in the path of Florence to evacuate immediately. Overnight the National Hurricane Center downgraded the storm based on deteriorating wind speeds, which are now around 110mph rather than previous highs of 130mph.
However, the National Hurricane Center tweeted not to focus on the wind speeds. “Life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected,” it said.
Experts have said the the rain and flood waters from Florence, rather than its speed, are the real source of danger.
While the storm has expanded in area, and still holds a tremendous amount of water capable of flooding and doing damage, it is less powerful than it was on Wednesday.
The latest track of the storm suggests that it will strike close to the North Carolina-South Carolina border before heading further inland. As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the storm was 170 miles from the North Carolina shore. 10 million people live in the storm’s path.
Trump has celebrated his administration’s response to hurricanes, including the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico and killed 2,975 people there.