Hurricane Florence: Five reasons to fear this storm

So we're going to have delayed impacts from this even after landfall on Friday. Forecasters are predicting as much as 40in of rain in some localized areas. The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 miles per hour with winds that have decreased significantly to 100 miles per hour.

A hurricane warning is in effect for a big chunk of the Carolina coast, from the South Santee River below Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Duck, N.C. - part of the Outer Banks.

As of 11 p.m. ET, Florence was centred about 135 kilometres east-southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to seven km/h.

By early evening, almost 70,000 residents were without electricity, according to North Carolina Emergency Management. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

Penn said the primary focus at the start will be on critical "life and death" infrastructure along the coastline, including 911 service, hospitals, police and fire departments and water treatment facilities.

Hurricane Florence has just about reached the cost of the Carolinas, set to bring heavy rain and damaging winds to the area tomorrow and through the weekend.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power.

The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain. Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometres from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometres. "He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said. "It's something we haven't seen. ever". "Inland flooding kills a lot of people".

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"They'll be looking very closely at major transmission lines that have tens of thousands of customers associated with them", Penn said. "It will probably fall faster than it can leave".

Pablo Santos, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told VOA that when the center of Florence comes ashore and shifts north as expected, it will still be "catastrophic" due tin a large extent to the storm surge.

As of Thursday morning, Florence has lost some power, changing from a Category 4 to a Category 2 storm. "We can not underestimate this storm". Will the winds be that strong or they'll be stronger when they get here than that?

"This is a life-threatening situation".

The downtown area of the city of 30,000 people was underwater and around 150 people were waiting to be rescued, city authorities said on Twitter. "The combination of a unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".

Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast.

The embarrassing gaffe came as Long fended off a new Politico report that he was under investigation for the use of government cars.

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