This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Thursday, September 13, 2018.
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. Storm surge flooding also could push 2 miles or more inland if Florence lingers for days along the coast.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warn that Florence remains deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane.
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The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather.
Once a powerful Category 4 storm, Florence became a slow-moving Category 1 before it made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina, on Friday.
The National Hurricane Centre 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.
THE life-threatening hurricane, Florence, is expected to hover the Carolinas in the United States with torrential rains, high winds and massive coastal erosion. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the center. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm.
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So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence.
Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. Bad idea, she says because emergency crews won't be able to reach them in the storm. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind does.
Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. Christy Hall said that when the I-26 lane reversal begins to be dismantled Thursday evening at 6 p.m., that should not be viewed as an indication the mandatory evacuation has been lifted.
The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave. "I've got four cats inside the house". The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks. He says: "If Mama and Grandma are going, then a lot of people are leaving".
Florence downgraded to a tropical storm; continues to pummel Carolinas
Florence's winds dropped from a peak of 225km/h to 165km/h overnight, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2. The National Weather Service said as much as 18cm of rain had fallen overnight in some coastal areas.