More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Food Lion employee Greg Partin helps a customer to her car on Monday Sept. 10 2018 at the Woodcroft shopping center in Durham N.C. Residents of eastern and central North Carolina are stripping grocery shelves and emptying supplies of gasoline as Hurric

Food Lion employee Greg Partin helps a customer to her car on Monday Sept. 10 2018 at the Woodcroft shopping center in Durham N.C. Residents of eastern and central North Carolina are stripping grocery shelves and emptying supplies of gasoline as Hurric

But Luettich said it is still not well understood how factors like rain accumulation and land saturation affect river and coastal flooding during major storm events.

Unrelated to Florence, Conowingo Dam owner Exelon Corp. opened more than a dozen of the structure's floodgates Wednesday night and into Thursday. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later tonight, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area on Friday", the briefing said.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet have been forecast in some areas when the monster storm eventually makes landfall in North and SC. "So the potential impact from the surge has not changed because the system is weaker", he said.

As of 5pm EDT (10pm BST) Florence was only 100 miles east-southeast from Wilmington, North Carolina and 155 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Florence is now a strong Category 2 storm. It was moving 10 miles per hour toward the Port City, the advisory said.

"A slow motion across portions of eastern and central SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night". It is expected to stall and hover over the Carolinas, dumping enormous amounts of rainfall on the region, and causing massive destruction and flooding.

The surge in power outages along the coast is the result of gusts coming off Hurricane Florence and knocking trees into power lines, said Lisa Crawley, a spokeswoman for the co-ops.

The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse.

While the storm may have slowed down slightly, it will still bring life-threatening storm surges, high winds, massive flooding and power cuts as it makes landfall on the coast of North and SC.

Dominion, which supplies electricity in Virginia and North Carolina, is warning customers in both states to prepare for a multi-day storm that could bring high winds, flooding and widespread power outages.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate over the past few days, and the homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000". "We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. The number is expected to rise, the flight-tracking service said.

The briefing said Florence "is a large hurricane" with hurricane-force winds extending 80 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds extending 195 miles from the eye of the storm.

The NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold has also been following the giant storm. In some counties, almost 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached Wilmington, with weather officials saying the storm will bring unprecedented rain to the region. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

Hurricane Florence carries a heavy risk of flash floods as it brings up to 13-foot storm surge and a possible 40 inches of rain to the Carolina coast. "A lot of rain", said Maj. "It's something we haven't seen. ever". "Once you leave, you don't know how many days it will be before you can return", she said. "It will probably fall faster than it can leave".

Forecasters also say the storm surge - or wall of water - that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore, could cause normally dry areas to be flooded by up to 4 meters of water moving inland.

Navarro concluded by emphasizing again that this is a serious life-threatening situation and people need to be evacuating. This satellite image show the sun rising on the storm Thursday morning. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today.