Florence still weakening; still risky

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 mph

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 mph

The NHC said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the USA could get at least 3 inches of rain from Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably receiving at least a foot.

Storm-driven waters overtopped roadways along the Outer Banks, the barrier islands that separate North Carolina's Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.

In Morehead City, the rain and surf pounded the shoreline and took aim at the few boats still in the water.

Water from the Neuse river floods the streets during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. They ventured out in life jackets into waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree.

The Charlotte area is expected to see heavy rain and 30-40 miles per hour winds in the coming days, which could cause power outages and flooding in certain areas. At Cape Lookout there were sustained winds of 83 miles per hour and gusts of 106.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington.

Forecasters have warned of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding" in North and SC.

Forecasters said the Category 1 storm's extreme size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, it said.

Wind speeds are only expected to weaken on Saturday as the storm moves slowly across land.

Ominously, forecasters said the onslaught on the North Carolina-South Carolina coast would last for hours and hours because the hurricane had come nearly to a dead stop at just 3 mph (6 kph) as of midday. Another man in the county who was checking on his dogs outside was killed in what his family thought was a wind-related death Friday morning, emergency officials said.

The tropical cyclone is expected to unload 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said.

"There is some damage. but it is still standing strong". They eventually used a front loader to clear the way, he said.

Some residents ignored calls to evacuate.

The hospital said it has received three injured patients.

"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income". "So since we can't find anything within our means. we've opted to stay". The flooding was caused by overflow from the Pungo River, she wrote. It's a kind gesture but doesn't alleviate Browning's fear.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said.

Many residents were ordered to evacuate the Carolinas and Virginia before the storm hit, but it's not clear how many heeded the warnings.

"Inland flooding kills a lot of people".

As the storm widens - and lingers - Florence has increased potential to produce tornadoes, flash flooding, mudslides and a catastrophic storm surge.

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days. Hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water.

In Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina, Mikey Zalloum of Uncle Mikey's Brick Oven Pizza sweated as he worked feverishly to make pies Thursday night.

Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.

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The Triangle Motor Inn, at 246 Wilmington Highway in Jacksonville, was seriously damaged by winds from Hurricane Florence early Friday, forcing several dozen guests to evacuate.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for.

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