People flee as 'catastrophic' Hurricane Florence sweeps towards America

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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.

By Thursday morning, the wind and rain tore the flag down the stripes all the way to the pole. "We can not underestimate this storm". It is poised to slow to a crawl there and then drift to the southwest, unloading disastrous amounts of rain.

Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, risky surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes. "Not only that, but the wind field actually expands as the center of circulation starts to lose some intensity, you'll start to get hurricane force winds further out from the storm".

Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in place from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina.

He added: "This is a very risky storm".

A man rides his bike as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 2018.

Another live stream at Wilmington Tower, which usually broadcasts sweeping views of the North Carolina landscape, shows storm clouds rolling in over the ocean. Meteorologist Greg Diamond has noted that areas along the coast of North Carolina on the right side of the storm could experience a significant storm surge through multiple high tide cycles, which would have a cumulative battering effect.

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Florence, one of the strongest storms on the Eastern Seaboard in decades, is a strong Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Hurricane warnings are issued 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds hit the areas.

National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts.

Of those who left, more than 4,000 had sought housing at emergency shelters across the state.

"It's still going to be the same result with the amount of water that's being pushed on shore", he explained.

The storm would be expected to die out by Wednesday, Ms Smith said.

The hurricane centre's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon (Saturday NZT) around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

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"Employees and local contractors have inspected equipment, reviewed procedures and assembled staffing plans to ensure around-the-clock support to respond to any potential impacts", the company said in a statement.

Solange Iliou Thompson, a restaurant owner in the town of Wilmington, North Carolina, made her stance clear. If you're anywhere near the affected regions or have loved ones in the deadly Category 2 storm's path, make sure to keep track of what government and other storm trackers are advising.

For the Columbia area, state and city officials warn of flooding and the likelihood of flash flooding.

"Floodwaters may enter numerous structures, and some may become uninhabitable or washed away", the Weather Service warned.

Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Georgia, Maryland and D.C., have also declared a state of emergency at the state level. As of 8 a.m., the hurricane is predicted to make landfall along the coast of the Carolinas tomorrow (Sept. 14), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center.

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