Hurricane Florence: Over 188,000 without power as monster storm batters Carolinas

Jacob Harrelson and his wife Beth Harrelson install protective plywood on a local business in anticipation of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington N.C. on Wednesday

Hurricane Florence is continuing to push towards a landfall around the North Carolina/South Carolina border, and is beginning to lash the central Atlantic seaboard with damaging winds and storm surge.

Even though the one-time Category 4 tempest has been downgraded to a Category 2, it's still packing lethal 100-mph winds and the potential for 13-foot storm surges and 40 inches of rain, officials warned.

Wilmington should be ready for a prolonged and devastating impact as Hurricane Florence roars over Southeastern North Carolina on Friday. Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

The storm has slowed down and is forecast to travel across SC after it makes landfall.

The storm's maximum sustained winds held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph).

Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the worst of the weather with his dog Canelo.

Forecasters said it appears the storm will make landfall somewhere around Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, which sits just east of Wilmington. It could then head west and southwest.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

Morehead City: A 10-foot storm surge was reported, with at least 20 inches of rain in two locations.

The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain. "To put this in context, we correctly predicted the full extent of Hurricane Harvey's economic damage to be $190 billion a year ago".

Further south, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, more than 60 people were evacuated from a hotel after police received a 911 call just before 1am, the city's public safety department said in a statement.

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If you're anxious about flooding away from the coast, then the Southeast River Forecast Center is your go-to stop.

Dresner said there was also a brief tornado warning Thursday night. Do not try to walk or drive your vehicle through them.

"But we can't replace us so we made a decision to come here".

An officer inspecting the Triangle Motor Inn found a "basketball-sized hole" in a corner room and firefighters said the building had suffered life-threatening structural damage. And while he's managed to pull tobacco leaves from the field, he's concerned because they require curing in a barn with power. "They have boarded up a couple of windows".

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today. Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

Get live views from web cams along the coast. The report, written mainly by scientists and engineers at state universities, said the warning should guide the state's "policy development and planning purposes" along the coast. However, as the storm continues to track south, rainfall totals could increase.

After all that, what is left of Florence will turn north towards Rochester.

High winds and downed power lines are another concern for that region.

"This threat will continue into next week", said Jeff Stern, Virginia's state coordinator of emergency management, during a Thursday evening news conference.

Maryland, too, remains under a state of emergency.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam reminded residents to stay off the roads and shelter in place. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

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