Florence is now "only" a Category 2 hurricane. That won’t matter much

In the 11 p.m. ET advisory, Florence was 280 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 17 mph.

The U.S. Naval Forces North Command also has deployed ships off the S.C. coast once the storm passes for recovery and rescue efforts, should support be needed, said Lt. Cmdr.

A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Florence's center will approach the North and SC coasts late Thursday and Friday. "If God's coming for you, you can't run from him".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said. The outer rain bands from Hurricane Florence have begun to come ashore in North Carolina.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 hurricane with winds less than 160 kph, but that could still cause at least $1 billion in damage.

About 10 million people live in the storm's path and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov.

Matt Wain, chief operations officer at Medical University of South Carolina Health.

Hurricane Florence: 1000mm of rain forecast for North, South Carolina
In the midst of what's being called a "monster storm", some US residents are welcoming Hurricane Florence with parties. All four major U.S. airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost.

The Portuguese weather service said that wind gusts of up to 74 mph are possible by the weekend in the Azores, an island chain about 850 miles west of Portugal.

The other threat for those living along the coast is the wall of water known as storm surge that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore.

Farther from the epicenter, surges between 6-to-9 feet are expected near Myrtle Beach and Ocracoke Inlet.

News that the storm could plow through SC after landfall came shortly after McMaster lifted his mandatory-evacuation order for Beaufort County and many other areas south of Charleston.

"But I'm not afraid", he said.

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. In North Carolina, Cooper says, "2,800 soldiers will be on active duty, joined by even more on standby".

Other bars in North Carolina stayed open on Wednesday night (amid warnings to evacuate) and advertised local beer, pizza and vodka, the Daily Mail reported. He adds, "Businesses in Myrtle Beach are to have operations ceased and secured by 5 this afternoon". It's predicted the fierce weather system will linger over the Carolina coast for days, not hours. "A lot of rain", said Maj. It caused 117 fatalities and cost the USA $17 billion.

The precipitation from Florence will start midday Thursday and then it will rain for four days, said CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater.More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in Virginia and the Carolinas, where up to 40 inches of rain could fall. But authorities warned it will still be an extremely unsafe hurricane.

SC residents facing record floods with Hurricane Florence. But one thing it might actually help is to reduce the overall wind speed, though we're still going to have gusty winds around here which combined with that wet soil could bring down some trees.

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