The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks. "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km)".
There is around 156,068 people that have lost power and police have suspended their services in Morehead City and other coastal cities, warning any residents who remain in the evacuation zone that they will be without emergency services until the storm passes.
As Hurricane Florence crashed onto the Carolinas, federal emergency teams prepared themselves to work on a long process of rebuilding the storm-battered landscape it would leave behind.
Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding.
According to CNN, the hurricane hit the east coast of the USA with 90-mph winds and relentless rain.
President Donald Trump has said protecting lives is his "absolute highest priority" and that the White House is standing by to offer affected states whatever help they ask for.
This image of Hurricane Florence was captured by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, now living and working onboard the International Space Station. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.
New Hanover County residents are getting their last few chances to evacuate.
Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.
"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence.
After maintaining Category 4 or 3 status most of Wednesday, Florence was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph churning about 205 miles southeast of Wilmington, according to a 5 a.m. briefing by the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Florence has weakened somewhat early Thursday as its outer bands approach the North Carolina coast, but weather officials cautioned that the storm will still bring life-threatening conditions.
The latest flash flood predictions for Friday and Saturday.
Forecasters warned of catastrophic flooding and other mayhem from the monster storm, which is only Category 1 but physically sprawling and unsafe. "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins". But authorities warned Florence has an enormous wind field that has been growing larger, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land and making Florence extremely unsafe. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.
New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said about 200 people have been rescued so far.
"A storm surge warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline". On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.
North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities. She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.
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