'Monster' storm Florence: What you need to know

The Latest A deadly hurricane’s long big slosh begins

The Latest A deadly hurricane’s long big slosh begins

FEMA officials wrote on Twitter people should not focus on the category of the storm - as of Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence was a Category 2 storm, indicating slower wind speeds - but rather should pay attention to the fact there will be extreme flooding in the Carolinas as a result.

Waves crash around the Oceana Pier as the outer edges of Hurricane Florence being to affect the coast in Atlantic Beach on Thursday. He also said power could be out for a long time and suggested residents think now about what they will need power for.

As North Carolina residents began to feel the first modest effects of a weakened Hurricane Florence on Thursday, forecasters warned the powerful storm will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours. Tropical-Storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles from the center.

"I'm lucky to be here today, but wherever they're going to send me I'm going".

As of 5 a.m. EDT (0900g) it was centered about 205 miles (325 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 250 miles (450 kilometers) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving northwest at 15 mph (24 kph). It then will move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC in the hurricane warning area later Thursday and Friday. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind does.

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. An isolated tornado is not out of the question, especially in North Carolina.

Almost 2 million coastal residents are now under mandatory evacuation orders, although it remains unclear how many have actually done so.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, 'The time to prepare is nearly over. We are more inland from the coast.

Cooper and his SC counterpart, Henry McMaster, told the more than 1 million people who have been told to leave that if they don't, they are on their own.

Any "flooding will be worse around high tide, and a slow-moving storm will stick around for at least one tide cycle", explained McNoldy.

Recent tracking maps show Florence stalking near the coast line, increasing the chances of flooding across four states. So far, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and the Washington D.C. have all declared states of emergencies.

As many as three million people are expected to lose power.

In the past century, only seven major hurricanes have hit the SC and North Carolina coasts. The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour earlier in the week when the storm had rated as a Category 4 major storm, but North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against complacency because of the drop.

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