17 September, 2018
Even though Florence is moving to the northwest at this time, AccuWeather meteorologists believe that the hurricane will stall and meander near the Carolina coast from Thursday night to Saturday.
Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland.
For Western North Carolina, the storm is not going to be felt until Saturday.
It was causing a life-threatening storm surge in parts of eastern North Carolina.
The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago.
Warning of looming storm surges of nine to 12 feet (2.7-3.6 meters), he urged residents to take the storm seriously no matter the category, saying "this is all about the water anyway".
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted. "But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".
After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.
Florence was expected to move onto the Carolina shore early Friday as a Category 2 storm, bringing "catastrophic" rainfall and flash floods. Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 70 miles the center and tropical-storm-force winds now extend outward up to 195 miles from the center. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, already had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Service said.
State officials and the National Weather Service warned the storm's weakening only relates to wind speed, not the storm surges or flooding that will accompany the hurricane.
5 photos of Hurricane Florence
They were expecting to be in SC for 10 to 14 days, according to a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Pete Piringer. Shelves at a store in Raleigh, North Carolina, emptied of supplies as people stock up ahead of Hurricane Florence .
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With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.
Roughly 1 million people are under evacuation orders.
"Your time is running out", he warned. Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of the Carolinas.
Cooper said many people in his state who may think the storm has missed them have not yet seen its actual threat to their regions, advising residents inland that "rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped", reaching their highest level days from now.
SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina announced an evacuation of the Outer Banks, a popular tourist destination.
In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were told to flee.
With the hurricane beginning to batter North Carolina, the state's Governor has asked US President Donald Trump for another federal disaster declaration beyond what he declared earlier this week.
Officials say anyone who has not heeded mandatory evacuation orders is on his own.
Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.