More than 150,000 people without power from Hurricane Florence

Tony Winborne 37 looks at a computer in a Hurricane Florence evacuation shelter where he says it's

When Florence hit as a Category 1 hurricane early Friday, the community's rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop. Despite its unpredictable path, it was forecast to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday on Friday. The forward speed of Florence has dropped from 17 miles per hour on Wednesday to 10 miles per hour during Thursday afternoon. Wind, on the other hand, is only responsible for 8% of all deaths.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, a steady rain began to fall as gusts of winds intensified, causing trees to sway and stoplights to flicker.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour (155 kph) winds, Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.

Elsewhere, storm surge is expected to reach heights of anywhere between 0.6 and 2.75 metres.

As the soil becomes saturated, gusty winds will topple trees and lead to widespread power outages. To put this in context, we correctly predicted the full extent of Hurricane Harvey's economic damage to be $190 billion past year.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence are lashing parts of the US East Coast, the BBC reports. "So since we can't find anything within our means. we've opted to stay".

Florence is forecast to significantly weaken as it crawls across central South Carolina Saturday.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

Help may not be available for days due to the risky conditions for those who chose to remain behind along the coast.

The NHC warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state. "Stay away from the water at all costs".

A surge is also likely along portions of the SC coast. However, a stall, meandering or loop near the coast is possible prior to a westward, southwestward or northwestward drift that would take Florence well inland.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

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Some areas also saw the first of the hurricane-force winds.

People in areas vulnerable to the risky hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm.

That included the busy Charleston and Myrtle Beach airports in SC and Wilmington in North Carolina.

Operators of small craft should heed all advisories that are issued and remain in port if necessary.

Why is Florence so large?

What will winds be like?

Hurricane Florence has already proven to be not just powerful and destructive but wildly unpredictable.

By the time the storm leaves the region, forecasters expect that it will have dumped 50 to 70 cm of rain in coastal areas, with some parts possibly being inundated with up to 100 cm.

North Carolina had 108 shelters open, and SC reported having 56 shelters open on Thursday morning, as the storm loomed toward the coast.

Duke Energy added it could take up to several weeks to fully restore power in areas left inaccessible due to flooding brought on by the storm. "So the potential impact from the surge has not changed because the system is weaker", he said. "A slow motion across portions of eastern and central SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night". We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas.

Does it matter that Florence is moving slowly?

The National Oceanic and Atmospherice Administration (NOAA) notes that Florence isn't alone in the "busy" Atlantic Ocean.

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