The Hurricane Center forecasts that Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images A auto goes through a flooded street during the heavy rain of outer bands of Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, United States on September 13, 2018. The storm, far weaker by early next week, is expected to track north along the Appalachian Mountains from Sunday to Wednesday.
Hundreds of people are awaiting rescue from their homes in New Bern, North Carolina, as flood waters continue to rise from Hurricane Florence. It's expected to move slowly over eastern SC on Friday night through Saturday night.
"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.
He added that people living near rivers, streams and lowland areas in the region were most at risk.
About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.
More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. The storm made landfall at around 7:15 a.m. ET near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
As Florence drew near, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center while tropical storm-force winds extend 195 miles.
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A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
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.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.
The hurricane center predicts as much as 101 centimeters of rain for some parts of North Carolina and storm surges as high as 4 meters - taller than many houses.
Definitely the storm surge, which could be up to 11 feet in some locations. The highest surge will coincide with high tide. However, the surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves, regardless of when the storm arrives. Joyce, too, is expected to weaken at the start of the work week.
Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.
Yes, because it's bringing a voluminous amount of rain, and by lingering it creates worse flooding.
By Sunday evening, winds should fall below 20 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said people could still leave flood-prone areas.
Emergency response teams have been "fully pre-positioned" to help local governments and companies like utilities cope with the damage Florence will leave, Long said - but the storm has to leave. That's about half the amount Hurricane Harvey - the largest rainfall event in US history - dropped on the greater Houston area previous year.