'Life-threatening' Hurricane Florence closes in on U.S. east coast

'Life-threatening' Hurricane Florence closes in on U.S. east coast

The hurricane, whose strength has been compared to a direct hit by Mike Tyson, advances with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour. "Because I don't know that we can go in and get you". It marks the beginning of a prolonged assault from wind and water, which - by the time it's over - is likely to bring devastating damage and flooding to millions of people in the Southeast.

Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the USA southeast.

First Warn forecaster Larry Sprinkle says Hurricane Florence will likely make landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane early Friday morning, possibly around 2 a.m.

From late Thursday through early Sunday, Florence will travel "literally slower than a walking pace (2 to 3 miles per hour on average)", CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. The actual landfall - when the center of the eye reaches land - will be Friday afternoon at the earliest, said Neil Jacobs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Because landfalling hurricanes commonly spawn twisters, a tornado watch was issued for eastern North Carolina. The site lost enough material to fill around two-thirds of an Olympic-sized pool, the company said in a statement, adding that it did not believe the incident posed a risk to health or the environment. On top of that, a disastrous amount of rain - 500mm, possibly even as much as 1m - is expected to fall. "There is overwash but nothing we are not used to", she said.

"You need to get out now", Hill told those who were staying behind. One North Carolina woman packed flowers to leave on her son's grave. They also have three dogs and three parrots.

All four major United States airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost. The more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

Flood waters rise, eight killed as Florence dumps 'epic' rain on Carolinas
Police said 150 to 200 residents have been rescued earlier on Friday and 150 or more were still awaiting rescue. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.

The Outer Banks will see Tropical-Storm-Force winds today, with winds gradually picking up speed in coastal Virginia.

Politicizing tragedy isn't something new, but Trump is taking us to darker place with statements like he's made this week, as his focus seemingly remains squarely on himself and his image.

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern. "But I think it'll be OK".

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate and authorities urged them to get going before the streets become inundated. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 metres) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 metres) of rain, touching off severe flooding.

"We know that this is an extremely unsafe situation", Cooper told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. "Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded, and many more by rising rivers and creeks".

Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall, the NHC said, with 20 to 30 inches, isolated 40 inches, in coastal North Carolina into far northeastern SC.

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