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Visible satellite loop of Hurricane Florence on Sept. 11, 2018 as of 4:05 pm ET. Image: NOAA via CIRA/RAMMB

The latest projections predict Hurricane Florence could stall just off the North Carolina coast, dumping feet of rain inland while sustained hurricane force winds complicate rescue and recovery efforts.

The big picture: "North Carolina has been hit by only one other Category 4 storm since reliable record keeping began in the 1850s. That was Hurricane Hazel in 1954," the AP's Emery Dalesio reports.

  • Trump on the storm: “If you are asked to leave, get out... [Florence will be] tremendously big and tremendously wet — tremendous amount of water.”
  • Trump added that the East Coast won't suffer like Puerto Rico because they are better prepared. “Unlike Puerto Rico they have very strong power companies.”
  • But the president called the federal response to Maria a "tremendous success."

Between the lines: "Just months ago, disaster planners simulated a Category 4 hurricane strike" on the East Coast, the AP's Jeff Martin reports.

  • "A fictional 'Hurricane Cora' barreled into southeast Virginia and up the Chesapeake Bay to strike Washington, D.C." (Hurricane Florence is currently expected to make landfall to the south, in North Carolina.)
  • "The result was catastrophic damage, which has some experts concerned that Hurricane Florence could produce a disaster comparable to 2005′s Hurricane Katrina..."
  • "Evacuation is known to be challenging in Hampton Roads, a coastal region inhabited by 1.7 million people in cities such as Norfolk, Virginia, and Virginia Beach."
  • "In Charleston, South Carolina, where the average elevation is only around 11 feet (3.4 meters) above sea level, storm surge and flooding from a hurricane’s drenching rain has the same effect — cutting off access, said Norman Levine, an associate professor at the College of Charleston."

What to expect from Hurricane Florence:

  • Storm surge: Depending on the landfall location, Hurricane Florence is likely to bring a devastating storm surge to the Carolinas, possibly exceeding 15 to 20 feet, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.
  • Damaging winds: A relatively small area of the coastline will experience the worst of the storm's winds, but a large area will still see a long duration of damaging winds from Florence. "Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months," according to the NWS' Wilmington office.
  • Inland flooding: The greatest risk from Hurricane Florence is its rainfall potential, both near the coast and inland. This is due to the storm's slow forward speed.

Go deeper: More Hurricane Florence coverage, updated as we learn more

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”