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Millions brace for Hurricane Florence to make landfall

"Firefighters later found life-threatening damage to the structure".

In its 1200 GMT advisory, the center said Florence was packing winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph) and moving northwest at 6 miles per hour (10 kilometers per hour).

Forecasters say the eye of Hurricane Florence is wobbling slowly southwestward just off the coast of southeastern North Carolina, near the border with SC.

Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to.

The storm weakened to a Category 1 storm Thursday night, but it has left hundreds of thousands without power nonetheless. Not only this, for the next 36 hours, Florence will not just slow down but also stall for a while.

Along the coast, floodwaters have been hitting inland towns near rivers that normally discharge into the ocean.

Its surge could cover most of the Carolina coast under as much as 11ft of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3ft of rain, touching off severe flooding. As Cooper said, "There's nowhere for the water to go".

Forced more than 60 people to evacuate a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after part of the roof collapsed, city officials said.

Hurricane Florence has killed at least three people after it crashed on North Carolina's coast on Friday.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said it was not too late for people to get out.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 195 miles out. "Many that will accept them only allow one per room". "I'm not sure what's that floating down there, but it's big".

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There's still a threat from rising tides, Risty-Davis says. More are on the way to help us.

Life-threatening storm surge is being reported along the coast of the Carolinas. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 21 miles per hour (34 kph) on Friday morning in Columbia.

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm as of the 11 p.m. Thursday update from the National Hurricane Center but it is still a risky storm. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.

According to reports the cyclone has finally arrived on Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina. Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Sasso said his city has gotten more than 100 emergency calls, but crews have had difficulty getting out while the storm rages ashore and there's been "significant" inland flooding.

To prepare for this storm, businesses have been boarding up, and supplies have been readied for what is expected to be a large-scale relief operation.

North Carolina's Emergency Management tweeted that more than 154,000 homes were already without electricity by late Thursday.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Florence was centered about 40 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving west at 2 mph, not even as fast as a person can walk.

"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

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